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Five Bishop’s Stortford Running Club members go under three hours at London Marathon





Five Bishop’s Stortford Running Club members went under three hours at the TCS London Marathon on Sunday (April 21).

Adam Beaumont and Steve Bullough were at the sharp end in the capital, finishing just seven seconds apart in 2hr 33min 1sec and 2:33.08 respectively.

Rob Thorpe lowered his personal best by almost four minutes as he crossed the line in 2:54.38 on his first time at the event while Kevin Marshall and Keir Mann squeaked in with 2:59.25 and 2:59.33 respectively.

Some of the Bishop's Stortford Running Club members celebrate completing the London Marathon with a well-earned drink
Some of the Bishop's Stortford Running Club members celebrate completing the London Marathon with a well-earned drink

A batch of strong female Stortford runners followed, led by Emily Clancey (3:24.08), Jo Jurd (3:24.19), Hannah McIlvenna (3:25.12) and Sophie Barc (3:39.25).

Some experienced marathon runners rounded up the sub-four hour finishers. Fresh from the Tokyo Marathon last month, Chris Chew completed the course in 3:44.02.

John Kennedy secured a PB of 3:46.40 in his home town, which is remarkable for his 49 marathons-worth of experience.

Selina Walkley completed the London Marathon in 4hr 26min 39sec. Picture: Fay Dodgen
Selina Walkley completed the London Marathon in 4hr 26min 39sec. Picture: Fay Dodgen

John Ivens, on his return to the capital after 14 years, finished in 3:58.32 while Laura Hollis, in her 13th marathon, finished in 4:01.12.

At the head of the next cluster of green and gold runners was Shane Tomlinson (4:11.10) followed by Martin Moulton (4:11.58), Kevin Gillespie (4:12.06), Mike Grant (4:12.34), Andrea Thorpe (4:13.53) and Nick Banham-Smith (4:14.39).

The crowds in the mid-pack in London can make it tricky to find the space to get into a rhythm at the beginning, but Selina Walkley powered through and was captured on camera by Fay Dodgen looking strong as she finished in 4:26.39.

New BSRC member Terry Malone finished in 4:30.52 and was followed by Paul Walker, who achieved 4:37.27 on his marathon debut.

Stortford's London Marathon volunteer crew of, from left, Ernesto Johnson, Stuart Davenport, Martin Howe, Claire Gallagher, Andrew Wilson and Andy Pooley
Stortford's London Marathon volunteer crew of, from left, Ernesto Johnson, Stuart Davenport, Martin Howe, Claire Gallagher, Andrew Wilson and Andy Pooley

Eleanor Rodgers, who completed her 76th marathon, showed her experience with a time of 5:14.59 while debutante Sarah Smith and David Reed clocked 6:09.38 and 6:22.56 respectively.

Phoenyx Harritt brought up the rear for the club using the Galloway run/walk method to safely pace a sub-6:45 crew, finishing in 6:44.16.

There was plenty of club support on the course with half a dozen members, who joined forces with Ware Joggers, marshalling around 17 miles in, just where the going starts to get tough.

Frances Iwaschkin is in training for next month’s Edinburgh Marathon and ran the Dorney Half Marathon in 2:07.33 as part of her preparation.

Vicky Simpson-Thomas and Michelle Bignall took on the half marathon at the multi-distance event at Lee Valley Velopark. The former finished in 1:35.52 to secure victory in the FV50 age group and be third female overall while the latter powered round in 2:05.22.

The previous weekend saw Stortford runners travel north for the Manchester Marathon. Danny Beazley finished in an amazing 2:42.58 to come 11th in the V45 category and 110th overall while Dominic Mason registered a great time of 3:31.05.

Niki Champion and Cathy Dutta smashed the five-hour barrier in 4:53.48, which was a PB for Dutta by 37 minutes and a great marathon debut for Champion.

Manchester Marathon finishers, from left, Cathy Dutta, Jane Malone, Rachel Turvey and Niki Champion
Manchester Marathon finishers, from left, Cathy Dutta, Jane Malone, Rachel Turvey and Niki Champion

In her second marathon, Jane Malone finished in 5:08.43 to take nearly 20 minutes off her time from London last year.

She was followed by Grant Alabaster in 5:14.19 and Rachel Turvey, who beat her 2023 London Marathon time by 21 seconds, in 5:41.37.



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