Athens Marathon’s an unforgettable trial for Kate
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.