Paul Atkinson and Nik and Les Sutton-Haigh were among the thousands of runners at the London Marathon at the weekend on a splendid morning for running. Paul had geared his training with a view to targeting 3h 15 min, and felt good in the first half of the race, probably going a little too quickly, but he had to slow down for the second half and managed to achieve a superb time of 3.11.47, finishing in 2214th place. He agreed that it was a wonderful experience, with the support of the crowds spurring him on at all times, and I’m sure that although it was his first London Marathon, it won’t be his last! Nik and Les Sutton-Haigh are more seasoned London Marathoners and ran together to finish in an excellent 4.17.06. They, too, were buoyed on by the support of the crowds.
Gavin Coventry, meanwhile, tackled an altogether different proposition, the “Teenager with Attitude Fell Race in the Lake District. This race is limited to 75 runners and covers 16 miles with 7300 feet of climbing and began with an ascent of Causey Pike, mainly in a hail storm! The course took in Outerside, Coledale Hause, in clag,and over the slopes of Grasmoor and descending to Whiteless Edge.Here, the clag lifted to show off the Lakes in all their glory, and Whiteless Pike followed, before a quick descent of Bleak Rigg ending with fording Sail Beck. Now a long pull via Newlands Hause to High Snockrigg found Gavin in reasonable condition, still to cover Robinson,, Hindscarth and Dale Head, and more, with a final effort for Catbells and a big spurt down to Skelgill to the finish at Stair in a time of under 4 hours? How many people could walk 16 miles in 4 hours on the flat? An excellent performance, Gavin.
The previous week, Gavin, on holiday in Northern Ireland, entered the first race in the Hill and Dale series, at Castlewellan. On a glorious night, with the Mountains of Mourne in the background, he was made most welcome, and finished a very good 41st out of 231 runners in a time of 40.07, with the first finisher taking 33.14.
Ian and Marian Codling were also in the Lake District at the weekend to tackle the altogether more level, though still undulating, Great Langdale St George’s Day 10k on Saturday. This road race started in glorious sunshine, in spite of a forecast of constant rain, and Ian came in 118th out of 154 runners in 62.37 with Marian 147th in 70.16.
The 227 runners in the Gisborough Moors Fell Race on Apr 15th included 4 Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers on a cold day with driving snow causing problems! The course, taking in Roseberry and Little Roseberry, was completed in 99.54 by Noel Clough, finishing in 31st place. Pete Wilkin came 60th in 104.46, Hester Cox 97th in 112.13 and Fran Jeffery 210th in 146.31.
On Apr 14th, Cath Lumb found herself at the Ampleforth Mountain Bike Triathlon, entering after a chat with a friend, which had seemd a good idea at the time! The swim in the pool went well, but the contrast with the icy wind and sleet outside for the remainder of the race was a real shock. “Steep” was the order of the day for the bike section, either up or down, whether over grassy fields or through Ampleforth Woods, and with plenty of mud to be negotiated. The 5k run was to be endured, and Cath eventually finished in 2h 3 min, plastered in mud from head to toe!