NewsRoad Racing

2024 London Marathon

Sunday 21st April saw 14 club members running the London Marathon and many more sitting at home glued to the TV coverage and updates on the tracking app as they tried to spot clubmates in the pre-race coverage or spot the yellow and blue club vests anywhere along the course among the 59705 finishers. The marathon followed its traditional route from the start areas in Blackheath and Greenwich, past the Cutty Sark until runners crossed the Thames over Tower Bridge just before their half way point. After running through Canary Wharf they returned to pass the Tower of London and the long stretch along the Embankment eagerly looking forward to the right turn at Big Ben that would take them down Birdcage Walk to the final right turn outside Buckingham Palace to the finish line on the Mall. 

All the North Down AC runners put in excellent performances in perfect running conditions with Dale Murray the first to finish in 2:29:25 and in 159th place overall. This was a PB by almost 2 minutes and was only 26 seconds off Billy Brannigan’s club record which has stood for over 40 years. Dale is now only the second runner in the club’s 50 year history to go under the 2.30 mark. Ashley Dixon wasn’t far behind in 192nd place with a 4 and a half minute PB of 2:30:11 putting him 3rd on the clubs all time list and Matty McParland ran a fantastic 2:35:09 taking a full 4 minutes off his PB. 4 more runners ran sub-3 hour marathons led by Ross Murray 2:40:39, Ricky Jordan 2:44:17, Jonathan Gibson 2:52.53 and Steven Donegan 2:57:35.

Alasdair Mair 3:03:55 was the next club member to finish followed by Sarah Gibson 3:08:34, taking 14th place in her age group and also running a rare London negative split where the second half of her marathon was quicker than the first half. Philip Mulligan’s comeback from injury continued with a fine 3:25:18. Donald Smith 3:45:10 running his 149th marathon achieved a course PB of more than 34 minutes since his last outing in London  in 2012. Patrick English was the next North Down runner to reach the Mall in 3:46:40. Paula Simpson who met her marathon running namesake, Paula Radcliffe at the expo, finished her first London Marathon in 4:06:56 while Noreen McCausland who was running her second marathon in 6 days took London a little easier than Boston to round off the NDAC marathoners in 6:06:40.

Dale Murray
Matty McParland
Sarah Gibson
Alasdair Mair
Philip Mulligan
Noreen McCausland
one of the Paulas giving the other Paula some tips
Donald Smith
Donald Smith and Russ Cook, the Hardest Geezer
Steven Donegan
Steven Donegan & Alasdair Mair