There was no respite from the heat as over 40,000 runners started the race boiling at Blackheath and finished it melting on The Mall during a day of record temperatures at the London Marathon.
With several world-class athletes defeated by the heat, no-one was immune including Stamford-based speedster Aaron Scott.
The serial race winner was expected to be the first local, and was hoping to run under 2:16. He deservedly formed part of the elite field, but sadly it wasn’t the Lincoln Wellington man’s day as he struggled from the start.
Instead of destroying himself Scott took the sensible option of calling it a day just after reaching the halfway mark in 70 minutes.
Despite the obvious disappointment the 30 year-old was relatively upbeat afterwards.
He said: “I was struggling from the second mile. I just couldn’t settle and my legs felt terrible. I’ll go again soon (over the marathon distance).”
Nene Valley second-claim runner Michael Channing was the fastest athlete from the Peterborough region, crossing the line in a fine 105th place with a time of 2:37.46.
The former amateur boxing champion’s race was not without event, and his experience summed up the day for many athletes.
He said: “I was having a really good race until mile 20 then it was like someone pushed a switch and within 10 seconds my race fell apart.
“I started vomiting and then fell over. I managed to get up and jogged back in. It was really strange because even though I had slowed from 5:40/50s to 6:40s there were a lot of runners around me running a similar pace, so I think a lot of people suffered in the heat.”
Several other locals went under three hours, with the ever consistent Jim Morris of Stamford Striders sweating it out for a 2:50.12 finish which placed him eighth Over 50.
Bushfield Jogger Martin Gichuhi defied the conditions to run a near perfect race. Gichuhi barely slowed in the second 13 miles, crossing the line in 2:52.24 after cruising through the halfway point in 1:25.12.
Jeff Lucas was the first Werrington Jogger across the line with a time of 2:57.17
Peterborough AC’s Jon Peet finished in 2:58.05, only a minute slower than his previous outing over the distance in Manchester last year, while Eye’s James Borrett crossed the line with a 2:59.39 clocking just six days after completing the Boston Marathon.
Jordan Foster was one of the big successes, crossing the line in 3:13.08. The rapidly improving Nene Valley Harrier had been told by experienced marathoners that she could be looking at a sub three hour race, but Foster resisted the temptation to push the pace from the start, instead running to the conditions and finishing strongly.
Lee Harthill, also of Nene Valley, was looking to go under three hours and bravely set off at that pace.
He held his form until the last few miles when the uncomfortable conditions suddenly took their toll, and he slowed to finish in 3:17.23.
Peterborough AC’s Danny Snipe picked up an injury at five miles, and spent 20 minutes on a roadside treatment table.
If running the remaining 21 miles in agony wasn’t enough, the dogged competitor was also sick four times on the way round.
But Snipe showed great determination to complete the race, finally crossing the line in 3:32.58.
PAC team-mate Oliver Mason made it to The Mall with a 3:25.53 clocking.
Werrington Jogger Martin Stevens kept up his impressive record of never going over 3:30 in his countless marathons crossing the line in 3:29.30, with fellow Jogger Stuart Crosby just two minutes further back.
Yaxley’s Stephen Lomax competed the gruelling challenge in 3:29.37 while Yaxley ladies Kerry Balmer, Clare Piercy and Gina Crane all mastered the oppressive conditions with finishing times of 3:41.55, 3:49.11 and 3:51.27 respectively.
Eye’s Alison Dunphy also ran well with a 4:03.02 clocking.
Bushfield’s Brian Corleys ran into trouble halfway round, but rallied to finish in 3:09.03.