Halstead Marathon Report – From the Water Station
8 May 2017 - By Martyn Byford
Windy, overcast but the temperature was just about right for the Essex County Marathon at Halstead on Sunday.
Despite the number of WRC members running being down this year, mirroring the overall field, there were some fantastic results together with some great feats of determination from our 6 entrants.
First home , and enjoying an Indian Summer in terms of form, was Leo Cole who not only ran a PB but also earned a much coveted Essex County Bronze Medal in a fantastic time of 3.07.01.and elevated him to second place in the V50 Grand Prix Series. This put him into 3rd place in the WRC Marathon times for 2017, so we have excellent benchmarks for any takers in the Senior, V40 and now V50 categories. Leo’s time will earn him a place in London in 2018 if he wishes to join Chris and Heydon on the start line.
Next home on his road Marathon debut in Black and Gold was Giles Sowerby in a superb 3.20.04. Despite being just ahead of Leo on the second time passed the water station, and by his own admission, he slowed slightly from 20 miles onwards but still achieved a fantastic time especially on this course.
Despite suffering a cold all week Becky Grimwood decided that she would run so that WRC had a team (Men please note!!). Fortune favours the brave and how true this was as both the course and wind deterred other club’s from closing out in the team stakes. Becky passed us with a big lead over Tracey Denby on the first lap with Penny Clarke just behind. However it was Tracey who appeared up the hill towards us first on lap 2 and it stayed that way with crossing the line in 4.53.17 just over 2 minutes clear of Becky (4.55.49). With others dropping by the wayside it was left to Penny to finish for our girls to secure the Bronze County Medals and with 5.36.59 on the clock that is exactly what happened. So a fantastic day for our ladies and WRC who now sit proudly on top of the Essex Ladies Grand Prix Series. Penny’s determination was also rewarded by moving to second in her age group in Esssex GP series.
While some of us were still in bed at 08.00 Peter Burns was embarking on his 23rd and ever present Halstead Marathon. Supported by Debs Cutler for the 26.2 miles Peter completed the challenging course after a couple of breaks to stock up on his oxygen levels in a time of 8.09.35 a fantastic achievement by both Peter and Debs.