It’s a great weekend home and abroad for Peterborough AC

The Peterborough AC senior mens team which finished 37th out of 131 teams at the National Cross-Country Championships. From the left they are Stuart Haw, Steve Robinson, Ben Heron, James Sadlier, Danny Snipe, Nathan Popple and James Whitehead.
The Peterborough AC senior mens team which finished 37th out of 131 teams at the National Cross-Country Championships. From the left they are Stuart Haw, Steve Robinson, Ben Heron, James Sadlier, Danny Snipe, Nathan Popple and James Whitehead.
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Peterborough Athletic Club were celebrating a weekend of global success with fine performances in Japan, America and the UK.

Phil Martin (36) was the man competing in Japan and he finished the big Tokyo Marathon race in a cracking personal best (PB) of 2:33.13 to move into the 2017 UK rankings at number six - a great effort for someone who’s only been running for a few years.

He said: “I’m absolutely broken after that. I suffered with blisters for the last 10k and then got wiped out by a Japanese runner at a water station with 5k to go! Yet I still managed a brand new PB.”

Martin thought his perfect day couldn’t get any better, but it did that evening when he discovered a bar where you could drink as much as you wanted for the equivalent of £15!

At the same time the club’s outstanding modern pentathlete Jess Varley (21) was busy securing 18th place in the World Cup held in Los Angeles.

The Fotheringhay-based athlete, who specialises in middle distance running for PAC, was making her senior international debut at the event and just 24 hours later she produced a fantastic performance to finish fourth in the Mixed Relay World Cup with team-mate Myles Pillage.

“To be so close to a medal was a very good performance and if one or two things had gone their way, they might have been on the podium,” said the GB team manager.

Closer to home there was an excellent bronze medal for young Lewis Davey at the England Indoor Championships in Sheffield. He finished third in the Under 17 400m in a new PB of 50.17.

His coach Karl Eve said: “I am really pleased for Lewis. What better time to produce your best performance than in the national championships. I’m really excited for the summer season.”

Also competing in Sheffield was English Schools 800m silver medallist Daniel Mees. He finished in sixth place in the Under 20 800m with an indoor PB of 1:53.00, more than four seconds faster than he had ever run before on the tight 200-metre indoor track.

Elsewhere for PAC, Elizabeth Taylor was sixth in the Under 15 200m semi-finals after running an indoor PB of 26.86 in the heats; Ellie Forrest finished seventh in the Under 17 60m hurdles heats in a season’s best of 9.65 (just 0.02 off her PB) and Megan Porter finished 13th in the Under 20 high jump with a 1.60m clearance.

Star performer for PAC at Saturday’s National Cross-Country Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, was Inigo Gillick who finished in 71st place in the Under 13 boys race.

Amittai Ben-Israel followed up his wonderful run in the Southern Championships with another top 100 placing when he finished a highly creditable 91st in the Under 20 men’s race.

The club enjoyed more success in the senior men’s race when a full team completed the grueling 12km course to finish in 37th place, the first time they’ve appeared in the team listings since 1997. Ben Heron was the first athlete home in 172nd place.

For the senior women’s team Sarah Caskey put in a tremendous run to finish 366th given she became a mum to Orla just a few days after Christmas. To regain form so quickly is a tremendous achievement.

PAC chairman, Matthew Dalton said: “Wow, what a weekend for the club! I am so proud of everyone who competed and all the coaches who worked tirelessly to get these athletes out and performing at the top of their game.”