Thirteen of North Down AC’s marathoners were in action in London on Sunday 23rd April’s and many more were glued to BBC One then the iPlayer looking out for our clubmates’ distinctive yellow and blue vests passing Cutty Sark or crossing Tower Bridge after initial coverage of the wheelchair races and elite races. Stunning wins for Sifan Hassan on her debut marathon and Kelvin Kiptum, running his second marathon, and still to run over 2hrs 2 mins for marathon distance perhaps inspired the NDAC runners behind them. Unlike Vienna’s unseasonal heat, London’s rain was more closely matched to to the local athletes’ winter and early spring training. First of the NDAC contingent to turn right at Buckingham Palace for the final straight to the finish line on the Mall was Dale Murray in a superb time of 2:31:18. Ricky Jordan 2:46:16 and Sarah Gibson 3:12:24 both recorded new PBs, closely followed by Michael Boyd 3:14:33. Alan Massey’s 3:14:43 and Noel Eager’s 3:18:29 were also PBs for both athletes. Dan Foord wasn’t far behind in a PB time of 3:20:20, followed by Tom Agnew who also recorded a new PB of 3:21:30. Aaron McAuley 3:28:34 rounded off the sub 3:30 runners. Even world record holder Eliud Kipchoge couldn’t match Helen Byers’ record of a Boston and London double inside one week; while Helen ran an impressive 3:40:07, Kipchoge’s role at London was limited to starting the race and handing out medals afterwards! Colin Caldwell 3:54:10, Angela Fawthrop 4:25:01 and Richard Garrad 4:42:31 all had excellent races too.
[photo – Dale Murray]