Elite runners and celebs enjoy marathon

In its 32nd year about 37,500 amateur athletes, fun runners and elite sportsmen and women ran the Virgin London Marathon. Prince Harry, who had earlier met volunteers at the event, was also at the finishing line on The Mall to congratulate runners, writes Lesley Roberts.

More than 100 people were attempting to break world records during the race. Our own Sidmouth bride, Naomi Garrick, who is now classed a 'celeb' broke the record by far, in 3.41 and she won’t want to know us soon, having been highlighted on the BBC News and ITV (see page 11).

The club’s elite male runners both did well. Milan Goc, although suffering from a cold, still managed to breeze it, in 2.47 and Laurence Bolam, who has been training nearly every day for this, showed it really does pay off with a fantastic time of 2.55.

His run was made even more pleasurable by running in the slipstream of Nell McAndrew (the first celebrity runner to finish).

Pam White was the first Sidmouth lady home in 3.34 justly earning her ‘good for age’ place next year followed by Fiona Cummins (3.42) and Lesley Roberts (3.52). Fiona maintained her good London Marathon record and also got the automatic qualifying time (3.50) despite slowing down over the last few miles.

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Also under the four-hour mark was Paul Mitchell. He and Phil Welsford both complained of the heat and realised the Marathon was a lot harder than they had imagined but they still finished in very respectable times of 3.59 and 4.10 respectively.

Jo Earlam, now a veteran marathon runner, romped home in 4.05 whilst Cathy Keast, running her first marathon, vowed it would be her last but finished in 4.09 the same time as Becky Robson who did well after a long-term injury had hampered her training.

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Then came the rest of the Sidmouth female contingent: Lynda Hawkins 4.11, Helen Palmer 4.16, Jane Hemsworth 4.18, Veronica Bray 4.29, Sandra Kirley 4.45, Bev Tarry 5.07 and Anne Langworthy 5.19.

Amongst that lot was Neil Rutter in 4.17 but almost unnoticed, was the fact that his son Luke was also running and finished more than half an hour in front of his dad.

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