Well, what a weekend. That’s all I can say. I’m not sure how the rest of October can live up to it.
We have to start with our very own legend of ultra running: Ali Young. Yesterday, Saturday 1 October, Ali became only the third female British athlete to complete the gruelling 153m Spartathlon for a second time. The route revives the footsteps of Pheidippides, who ran from Athens to Sparta before the Battle of Marathon, as recounted by ancient Greek narrator Herodotus… and its hilly (mountainous) and hot. Very hot. Ali not only earned herself a huge PB on the course (28.56.45), she was also 4th female overall and the third UK athlete - an incredible achievement by an incredibly tough athlete. It was also great to see Chiltern’s Annelize Colquhoun there amongst Ali’s crew for the race. Staying overseas for now, a huge well done to Ian Lawson for finishing the very technical Krantzkloof Trail Run in South Africa. Taking in 3500ft of rocky-looking ascents and descents over 22km, it certainly does not look for the faint-hearted. Ian clocked a total time of 3.16.59.
Moving back to our own shores, we’ll start with the Abbots Langley Tough 10(km), where Sylvia Moss came away with first female and a course PB of 44.12 today, adding to her parkrun course PB of 22.09 at Dinton Pastures from yesterday. Husband Richard ran a brilliant time of 38.49. In the rather terrifyingly named ‘Thruxton Mass Attack Duathlon’ (and age group qualifying event), Nick Hughes was first in his age category in the sprint distance (55.21), whilst daughter Maddie was second in hers (1.02.41).
In 5k news, Sarah Quantrill and Tessa Passey joined the Friday lunchtime speed merchants at the Last Friday of the Month 5k by Serpentine AC, clocking times of 21.13 and 21.59, respectively. There were parkrun course PBs for Scott Getley (Aylesbury, 23.19) and Jay Grigson (Macclesfield, 23.04).
And now we’ll do marathon news. And it’s exciting. You might not have known that the TCS London Marathon was not the only marathon event taking place today. Neil Walker and Philip Damas were both in action at Dorney Lake, clocking highly resectable times of 3.06.52 and 3.46.09, respectively. Meanwhile, way up North in the Scottish Highlands, two Harriers took part in the atmospheric Loch Ness Marathon. James Watson finished in 3.34.30 and Angela Hughes - 6.09.41. As might be expected, Chiltern had strong representation at the TCS London Marathon - really strong. In alphabetical order: Christine Burroughs (coming back for injury in a fabulous ‘good for age’ time of 3.34.00); Simon Conway (3.58.08); Aran Davidson (2.29.50 - that was 72nd overall!); Tim Dawson (3.41.35); Tom Dixon (2.53.07 - a PB); Harriet Lemon (4.53.02); Rasmi Nanda (4.39.15); Rebecca Nkoane (3.08.07); James Repper (2.51.54); Hannah Ryan (5.00.35); David Saul (5.12.30); Adam Shute (2.49.05); David Walker (still one of the illustrious ‘Ever Presents’ to have participated in every single London Marathon event - 7.27.16); and Grant Whitaker (3.45.04). Also a huge shout out for our friend Alan Hornbook, who ran an excellent 3.44.38. Huge congratulations to all of our Marathon runners. You truly did Pheidippides (and all of us) proud.
COMING UP LOCALLY: Herts 10k, the Tring Ridgeway Run, the first Chiltern League cross-country match of the season, Frieth Hilly, Ampthill Trophy Cross Country, the Abingdon Marathon, Last Friday of the Month 5k and the Fleet 10k. Check out the Club Calendar for more.