Athens Marathon’s an un­for­get­table trial for Kate

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

KATE Loach will not be for­get­ting tak­ing part in the his­toric Athens Marathon for the first time in a hurry.

De­spite the heat and suf­fer­ing badly with cramp and de­hy­dra­tion, the Chiltern Har­rier earned a sea­son’s best time of 3.38.46, de­scrib­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of run­ning into the 2004 Olympic Sta­dium to fin­ish as the most mag­i­cal mo­ments of her run­ning life.

It also set her up nicely for the Her­bert’s Hole Chal­lenge, some­what closer to home in Che­sham where, along with Ali Young and Michael Tur­ney, she was one of three Chiltern run­ners to land age group prizes.

There have been plenty of other im­pres­sive long dis­tance feats by Chiltern run­ners over the past month, with Kirstie El­liot the sec­ond V35 woman home at the Wim­ble­don Half Marathon in a PB time of 1.32.22 last week­end.

Neil Brown clocked a 1.30.40 half marathon time as part of team of two in the Marathon des Alpes-Mar­itimes, along­side friend Rowan Soft­ley.

The pair com­plete the 26.2-mile dis­tance be­tween Cannes and Nice, with Brown tak­ing charge of the first leg be­fore Soft­ley brought them home with a to­tal time of 3.13.45.

Also trav­el­ling over­seas was Natalie Baker, who flew out to New York for her first ever marathon, fin­ish­ing in a re­spectable 4.02.55, while back home, there were age group wins at the Mar­low Half Marathon for MV40 Alis­tair Melville-Smith (01.17.00) and FV60 Bar­bara Ralph (01.46.26).

There were PBs for Sam Mel­drum at the Thames Me­an­der Half Marathon (1.33.54) and Andy Wiseall at the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon (1.23.15), for his first top 10 fin­ish, and Tur­ney was sec­ond in the MV50 cat­e­gory.

There were some top ef­forts over the shorter dis­tances too, not least from Matthew Robins, who ran three races in one week­end – two of them within an hour-and-a-half of each other.

He start­ing with the Black Park 5k, where he equalled his PB time, then dashed straight to the start line of the Crox­ley Green Christ­mas Cracker 10k, where he was fourth male with a time of 41.47.

Af­ter a good night’s sleep, Robins was back out the fol­low­ing day, tak­ing part in the Mil­ton Keynes MoRun 10k, where he did a very re­spectable 42.32.

El­lie Bates also took part in the Crox­ley Green race, rac­ing Robins to the line and match­ing his time to take the sec­ond lady prize.

Kate Loach

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