It was a lovely cool, bright, sunny day and ideal running conditions for the Therme Manchester Marathon on Sunday 3rd April. Neil Pollard put in a superb performance with a PB of 2:33:03, taking over 4 minutes off his previous best time and earning an age grade of 84.50%. He finished 70th of 14,171 overall and 17th of 1,592 in his M40 age group, with half marathon splits of 1:16:36/1:16:27, showing perfect control of pace from start to finish. Next Jogger to finish was Jonathan Pye (2:50:59, 583rd, 218th of 3,565 in MU40), achieving a PB of nearly 8 minutes and commendable half marathon splits of 1:26:16/1:24:43. He managed to increase his pace progressively at 10km, HM and 30km stages, with his final 12.2km split the fastest of all, showing true stamina. Third Jogger home was Marc Drury (3:12:14, 2,018th, 239th of 1,245 in M45) gaining a huge PB by over 15 minutes and showing no signs of tiring, with exceptional negative splits of 137:34/1:34:34.
Above top left: Old Trafford cricket club, hosting the athlete village; top right: Old Trafford cricket pitch; bottom left: Runners arriving at the athlete village, with Trafford Town Hall in the background; bottom right: Scene at the start, on Bridgewater Way.
Fourth Jogger home, Vanessa Allen (4:02:34, 1,343rd F of 4,035, 192nd of 577 in F45), a recently joined club member, put in a great effort in her first known marathon. This follows her 1h:49m club debut in the Cambridge HM on March 6th last month and 3h:06m in the Oundle 20M on March 13th, which seem to have been perfect preparation for this event. She recorded admirable half marathon splits of 1:57:44/2:04:50 and has potential to succeed further. Other Joggers putting in big efforts were: Mark Geddie (4:15:37, 8,536th, 635th of 930 in M50), Melanie Tindale (4:24:49, 2,044th F, 283rd of 577 in F45) and Chris Aylmer (5:12:55, 12,471st, 16th of 27 in M70.
Above left: The finishing straight (which seemed like it would never end🙂); above right: Deansgate; an out & back part of the marathon route through the city centre.
Meanwhile, Suzanne Bailey (2:15:35, 6,478th overall, 2,865th F of 6,659 , 116th of 447 in F55) participated amongst a huge field of 11,619 in the London Landmarks Half Marathon, achieving a PB of 13 seconds in the process. She is certainly back to her true form, after a serious hand injury from a fall curtailed her training earlier this year.
On the same day, Joe Cormack (3:50:10, 25th of 41 overall, 12th of 19 in M20-39) ran an enormous PB in the Essex Marathon at Saffron Walden, taking 1h:31m:29s off his previous best time achieved in the London Marathon last year. That is exceptional progress and very encouraging for the future. Andrew Taylor (6th of 22 overall) was in top form in the Essex 5K event and exactly equalled his PB of 19:58, which he gained at Bedford Autodrome the week before.
Above left: Joe Cormack in the Essex Marathon; above right: Clive Purbrook in the Keith Hall Memorial 10K. Much appreciation to Joe and Clive for pictures on Strava.
Also on Sunday, two Joggers competed in the High Lodge Half Marathon in Thetford Forest: Shane Basing (1:38:09, 14th of 171 overall, 2nd of 13 in M40) and Anna Mayhew (2:19:17, 39th F of 72, 5th of 8 in F50) both did well over this energy-sapping trail route. At Thorney, near Peterborough, Clive Purbrook ran in the Keith Hall Memorial 10K and clocked a very decent time of 52:14, finishing 161st of 277 overall and a close 3rd in his M65 age group.