Magnificent results were recorded by runners from Matlock Athletics Club, who rubbed shoulders with the world’s finest at the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.
From a record number of 253,930 people entering the ballot to take part in the iconic race, only 50,000 were successful. But they included a healthy contingent from Matlock in ideal weather conditions.
Mary Keitany, of Kenya, might have broken Paula Radcliffe’s women’s record to finish in two hours, 17.01 minutes and Daniel Wanjiru, also of Kenya, might have been crowned the overall winner in 2.05.48, but Matlock’s athletes had plenty to smile about too.
Leading the charge was Colin Davenport, who was a superb 111th overall in 2.33.25. Next up was Andy Hall in 3.09.46, closely followed by club chairman Craig Allen in 3.10.53, Simon Croft in 3.11.31, Scott Thompson in 3.18.17, Jim Thorneycroft in 3.24.13, Peter Wilmot in 3.30.46 and Rosie Croft in 4.07.29.
Rosie, taking part in her first marathon, said: “I enjoyed every second! The best bit was seeing my family at the 25-mile mark. It brought a few tears to my eyes. All the support was phenomenal.” Veteran Thorneycroft said: “What stood out in my mind was the sheer volume of runners and the noise from the spectators, wbhich was defeaning all the way round. I didn’t find a clear section of road until the 13-mile mark.”
The only downbeat note was provided by Wilmot, who was not impressed with his personal performance. He advised would-be marathon runners to make a realistic plan in terms of the pace they set over the 26.2-mile course and to stick to it.