Capital punishment for many as the temperatures soared for the big race

David Hudson (Huntingdon BRJ) 2:29.42. All pictures by Tim ChapmanDavid Hudson (Huntingdon BRJ) 2:29.42. All pictures by Tim Chapman
David Hudson (Huntingdon BRJ) 2:29.42. All pictures by Tim Chapman
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.

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Instead of destroying himself Scott took the sensible option of calling it a day just after reaching the halfway mark in 70 minutes.

Geraldine Larham (March Athletic Club) 3:18.54.Geraldine Larham (March Athletic Club) 3:18.54.
Geraldine Larham (March Athletic Club) 3:18.54.

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.

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The former amateur boxing champion’s race was not without event, and his experience summed up the day for many athletes.

Kerry Balmer  (Yaxley Running Club) 3:41.55.Kerry Balmer  (Yaxley Running Club) 3:41.55.
Kerry Balmer (Yaxley Running Club) 3:41.55.

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.

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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.

Lee Harthill (Nene Valley Harriers) 3:17.23.Lee Harthill (Nene Valley Harriers) 3:17.23.
Lee Harthill (Nene Valley Harriers) 3:17.23.

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.

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Lee Harthill, also of Nene Valley, was looking to go under three hours and bravely set off at that pace.

Mark Louth (Thorney Running Club)  4:01.07.Mark Louth (Thorney Running Club)  4:01.07.
Mark Louth (Thorney Running Club) 4:01.07.

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.

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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.

Oliver Mason (Peterborough AC) 3:25.53.Oliver Mason (Peterborough AC) 3:25.53.
Oliver Mason (Peterborough AC) 3:25.53.

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.

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