The Joggers field their biggest team of marathon runners this Spring with not only London being the aim but Paris, Brighton and Edinburgh chosen venues for first timers and marathon veterans throughout the club. It’s not been easy training in what has been the coldest winter in many years and the motto we adopted this season at the club to help us get through the 16 week training schedule was ‘we are not robots’.
For anyone considering training for a marathon the first principle is to ensure that you respect the distance and prepare for it not only physically but mentally. Many of the Joggers are fit individuals who run a couple of times a week but when you undertake marathon training it’s a different ball game and really does take over your life for the months leading up to the event. For example over the last 4 months we’ve had Joggers in various states of disarray due to their hard training schedules, Kirstie Newton ended up in hospital after a fall, Greg Davis was whisked to A&E 2 weeks ago with a suspected metatarsal injury (luckily false alarm – strain), several have thrown up after and even during long runs, Cathryn and Martin have had to cross train on bikes due to injuries and we’ve had cases of near hypothermia which has recently been replaced by dehydration due to heat in the last few weeks. The team have really put in an amazing effort to reach their goals; it’s not easy and there have been tears but mainly there’s been lots of laughter, tales told and new friendships made. It’s tough not only doing the long runs but taking what comes with the training – tiredness, injury, pain and dedication, those that actually make it to the start line could well be robots after all.
The London Marathon is the UK’s biggest marathon and attracts over 36,000 runners each year, this year the Joggers fielded a team of 13, which may be unlucky for some but they all started and finished so it was lucky 13 for the Newmarket club.
First home in a new PB was Robin Clifford in an incredible 2:47, his previous London time being 2:51, this guarantees him entry to next year’s marathon and is the fastest time for the club this season putting him in the club elite bracket. Ben Blowes running his 9th marathon and 5th consecutive London was looking to ensure he kept sub 3 hours and after starting too quickly and having a ‘wobble’ at 3miles he slowed down and 2 black toenails later crossed the line in 2:59, this was his most enjoyable marathon and although he had to change tactics and aim for sub 3 rather than a new PB he’s delighted with what was his ‘most enjoyable marathon ever’. Matthew Harvey was next home for the club in 3:01, another incredibly quick time for this talented marathoner having finished last year’s race in 2:41. Greg Davis ran a brilliant race and after being on target for his goal of sub 3:15 until 21 miles when the heat and humidity took over dug deep to finish in 3:22 and is already planning his next marathon after getting bitten by the marathon bug, again. Ursula White was the first lady for the club and ran an incredible 3:42 which was made more impressive by the fact she’s been ill for the last 3 weeks but the winter training had obviously paid off as she took almost 15 minutes off her previous PB. Martin Gear who is lucky to be on the start line at all and has to be one of Newmarket’s luckiest lads after being kicked in the head by a horse last year followed by appendicitis then recently a knee injury which resulted in him swimming and cycling his way to the line, completed his first marathon in 3:50 which was closely followed by the ever motivated and spirited Alan Shand in 3:51. Richard Jones was another to keep sub 4hours completing in 3:58. Cathryn Starling has spent the last 2 weeks leading up to the marathon in agony after injuring herself on her last long training run, however after intensive physiotherapy, acupuncture and almost being taken out of the race by Princess Beatrice’s caterpillar she crossed the line in 4:16 a brilliant time for her first marathon. Paul Baxter was next along the Mall in 4:23 with Mary Marsh following half an hour later, she was enjoying the race until the 20 mile marker when nausea kicked in but still managed to battle through and cross the line in 4:55. Running her first marathon was Louise Hutt who has also had knee problems throughout training but didn’t let pain stop her from ensuring she got sub 5 hours by crossing the line in 4:59. Katharine Smith who only joined the Joggers last year after starting running in October 2009 when 200 metres seemed impossible crossed the line 6:51 a great achievement.