VLM report and results
26 April 2016 - By Marc Underdown
Many thanks to Anita for providing the bulk of this report.
The club bus set off from Witham just after 6.30am towards Blackheath to drop the runners off at their starts. The supporters then headed off to Tower Bridge for a nice hearty breakfast whilst the runners got into their focus zones trying to stay calm.
The sun made an appearance around 9.15 which was met with trepidation, was it going to be too hot to run? Luckily that was not the case as almost perfect conditions prevailed, evident by the men’s world record only being missed by seven seconds.
Our runners were spread out across all three start areas and crossed the line between one and 16 minutes after the gun. This lead to some of the runners meeting up along the early miles of the course before their target time paces became the prime focus as the field thinned out a bit!
Blue and Red starts merged after three miles in Woolwich, Anita was flying at this point and took it to the extreme by being tripped up by another runner from behind and going tarmac surfing. She picked herself up quickly and got back into her stride taking some ibruprofen which she had with her and didn’t let it spoil her race. Looks like the ladies elite winner took a leaf out of Anita’s book being tripped before going on to win.
The volume of crowd noise shot up as we turned the corner towards the Cutty Sark, what an atmosphere. Heading through Bermondsey before heading up to Tower Bridge was where we were met by enthusiastic cheers from the WRC supporters which gave us a nice lift as we headed across the iconic bridge and over the 20km mark. It was also a nice surprise to see Chris Martin supporting at mile 14 and gave an added lift.
As you start complete the loop of the Isle of Dogs you reach the 20mile mark. This is when the real race starts! At this stage the mile markers can’t come quick enough and I suspect most runners tick them off one at a time. On the Embankment we were met by our WRC supporters which gave us a nice lift. Runners are then greeted by the sight of the London Eye and then Big Ben as they approach the 25 mile mark. A bit more sight-seeing (!) and its round the final bend into the Mall for the long awaited finish. The supporters and bands along the way were fantastic as was the organisation of the water stations.
Mark Finbow, Vicky Hunt and Michael Watkins made their marathon debuts yesterday. Jeff Fowler, Becky Booty, Anita Grainger, Paul Thomas and Jo Smythe all got PBs yesterday creaming between 12 minutes and an hour off their previous times. Anita is over the moon at breaking the 4 hour barrier with her strategy off going off fairly quickly in the first half and then hanging on paying off. Vicky Hunt is certainly worrying hubby David with her fast marathon debut time, who will be quickest on the next one?! Dave Howard had a great race knocking 18 minutes off last years’ time.
Well done everyone what an amazing day!