Aaron Scott ran the race of his life at the London Marathon on Sunday, knocking a massive 90 seconds off his previous fastest time to win the bronze medal in the English Marathon Championship with a time of 2:17.46.
The Stamford-based Lincoln Wellington AC ace placed 24th overall, as well as being the third Englishman in a star-studded field.
Scott made hay while the sun shone on a bright, cool and windless morning when the favourable weather, along with a huge enthusiastic crowd, made for perfect racing conditions.
Scott knows how fickle the marathon can be, having experienced both the highs and lows in recent years, and was delighted with his race in which he took a huge step towards establishing himself as part of the nation’s endurance running elite.
The race had not gone completely to plan after a faster start than he’d intended, but on the day fortune favoured the brave .
Scott said: “It was an odd race really as the plan was to hit halfway somewhere between 67:45 and 68 minutes and run an even paced 2:16.
“But the pace was pretty hot and I went through halfway in 67:09.
“I tried to maintain that pace but started to feel it around 16/17 miles, but at this point I was catching a lot of other Brits who had gone off even quicker.
“I couldn’t believe it when I passed Andrew Lemoncello (PB 2:13) and Chris Thompson (PB 2:11) with relative ease just before the 30k mark, and from then on it was a case of just getting to the end.
“I was in a world of pain from 20 miles, with my quads beginning to cramp, but somehow found enough to keep going and even attempted the world’s slowest ‘sprint’ finish, but wasn’t successful mainly because I could no longer feel my legs.”
Scott went on to explain how he feels his fine run has opened new doors.
He added: “I’m delighted with the run, not just because 2:17 is a PB, but because it shows I have the potential to run 2:14/2:15 or even quicker.
“It’s also crazy to think that despite the calibre of runners on the start line, I had a genuine shot at qualifying for the World Championships on Sunday. If I’d held it together a bit better, then 2:15 and a spot on the team was there for the taking.
“Initially, I thought you would need to run 2:12 or below to make the team, but running is a funny sport and things don’t always go the way you expect them to.
“I’m now looking to go to Berlin in September and give 2:14 a real go, which is the qualifying time for the Commonwealth games in Australia next April.”
Other locals were prominent in the race,and Peterborough Atheltic Club’s Phil Martin defied his fatigue by finishing 79th in a new PB of 2:31.23 just seven days after running another fast marathon in Boston.
Other PAC athletes Danny Snipe (2:48.32) Simon Mead (2:49.00) and James Sadlier (2:58.32) all ran well.
Paul Halford was the third local to make the top 100 finishing 98th with a time of 2:32.39, while his Werrington Joggers team-mate Jeff Lucas could feel satisfied with his 2:45.32 clocking.
Two Nene Valley men had fine runs with the rapidly improving Michael Channing just missing out on a top 100 slot, finishing 111th in an excellent 2:34.27. Chris Wright had hoped to run 2:40 and did so with a 2:40.15 finish.
Brian Corleys and James Fisher of Bushfield Joggers just missed out on their sub three-hour targets running 3:01.28 and 3:02.28 respectively.
The fastest three local ladies were all from March AC. Geraldine Larham, who is well known on the Peterborough running scene, finished seventh Over 45 with a 3:06.45 clocking - a time that both surprised and delighted her. Toni Alcaraz ran 3:13.15 and Karen Patterson crossed the line in 3:17.36.
Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate’s time of 3:34.59 was good enough to make her the first Nene Valley lady home.