Elite runner Phil and jogger Jake smash their best marathon times, Church gets to a PB on time and a Peterborough Nene Valley round-up

Phil Martin obliterated his previous marathon best when running 2:24.09 for 18th place in Sunday’s (April 25) Cheshire Elite Marathon.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:25 am
Phil Martin during the Cheshire Elite Marathon.

The 40 year old Peterborough Nene Valley AC ace went into the race with a best time of 2:31.24 which he’d recorded in London in 2017.

Conditions were perfect on a flat seven and a half lap course to the south of Chester, and it soon became apparent that his marathon record would be destroyed if he kept up his early pace of five minute 20 second miles.

Martin is renowned as a dedicated trainer, and all the hard work paid off as he ran at a remarkably even pace. The marathon specialist was still running his miles at under five minute 30 seconds when he reached the finish.

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Lydia Church in action.

“I knew if everything went right I could go sub 2.25” said Martin

“I told Aaron Scott a couple of weeks ago I was planning to run a pace which would see me through halfway in 71:30ish and then see how long I could hold it, but I actually went a bit quicker and went through in 70:30.

“It started to bite in the last couple of laps, and I ran alone pretty much the whole way so the pace dropped a little. I knew I was still on course for sub 2.25 and just made sure I didn’t do anything crazy as people were dropping out left right and centre.

“I overtook some quality runners and I think only one person overtook me in the whole race, and that was in the final stretch when I just had no kick.

“If there had been a group to work with I think I could have gone a bit quicker, but I can’t complain about a personal best by seven minutes!

Martin’s clubmate Ben Heron was also in action, choosing the elite half marathon event.

It was his first race for 18 months, but there was no rustiness as Heron waded in with a 1:08.53 run for a 15th placed finish knocking nearly three minutes off his previous best.

A personal best by 50 minutes

Yaxley’s Danny Snipe was also in marathon action on Sunday at Shepperdine in Gloucestershire.

Snipe’s time of 2:57.27 was identical to the time he ran in London in 2019 and placed him 27th.

Jake Norman of Bushfield Joggers chopped a gigantic 50 minutes off his marathon best when clocking 2:46.12 in the Essex Marathon at Saffron Walden.

Norman finished in 10th place.

CHURCH gets to a PB on time

Peterborough Nene Valley thrower Lydia Church made the perfect start to the season at Coventry on Saturday throwing a personal best of 12.62m in the shot.

The British Athletics funded para-athlete could not have timed it better as it was the last competition before the selection committee convene to select the team for this summer’s Para Athletics European Championship.

Peterborough NENE valley round-up

Several other Peterborough Nene Valley athletes were in action over the weekend including Niamh Rushton. She finished as second under 17 girl in a 300m race at Dagenham in a time of. 44.62.

Benji Davis clocked 1:56.46 over 800m in Birmingham. A performance which leaves him ranked 12th under 20 in the country.

Jessica Dixon-Walker ran a 13.95 100m at Loughborough.

Sean Garmory travelled to Manchester for a Friday night sprint meeting.

The long journey proved worthwhile after he finished runner-up in the 150m race in a personal best of 17:31.

Garmory also raced over 60m recording a time of 7.52.