As Storm Alex lashed parts of England over the weekend plenty of hardy club members braved the elements and strode forth to race success.
The delayed Kent Spring Marathon offered full and half distances over a tough undulating course, beginning in Charing and taking in an off-road section of the Pilgrims Way before looping back through Westwell to complete its 13-mile loop. The course included slippery mud, plenty of climbs and a mojo sapping dogleg where a strange man in a black BMW lurked while snapping photos of people in lycra (thanks for the support, Scotty). Leading the A&D charge was Robert Latala who skipped around the challenging 26.2-mile course in a fantastic time of 2:50:30 to finish second place overall and steak an early claim for a repeat of his Club Mens Marathon Champion title for 2020 . After running the first 22 miles together, second finisher for the club and ninth on the day was Paul Ridley who clocked 3:14:19 closely followed home by the eleventh place overall James Booth registering 3:18:48 and thereby obliterating his PB with a massive 14 minute improvement. Andrew ‘Headband’ Noble finished in 3:30:27 in his first marathon since Berlin 2019. Next home was Mr. Consistent himself Rick Holden running a solid time of 3:34:07 with his young padawan Linda Delport registering a strong run of 3:39:19 and bringing things home first out of the A&D women. Next finisher was Mark Attenborough beginning a long period of racing by running a time of 3:53:19. Lesley Clancy, in her first ever attempt at the marathon distance, completed the race in a respectable 3:57:15 and achieved the notable milestone of a sub-4 time. Cris Francis was our next athlete home after running 4:07:34 before Tracey Calnan conquered the course in 4:13:13 and Jayne Fryer a mere six seconds behind with a time of 4:13:19. Helped along by her famous marathon-length training runs Massah Cooper managed 4:24:47 to round off the full marathoner results.
In the half marathon distance at the same event Alison Waters showed her class in blustery conditions to run 1:52:28, with Keith Lynn hot on her heels to finish in 2:02:55. Next A&D finisher was Ricky Yates running 2:16:13 with Lucy Johnstone not far behind with her time of 2:25:32.
Running laps of a lake was the order of the day for Alice Cook who spent exactly three hours and forty seven minutes admiring the scenery of Dorney Lake in her marathon. At the same time Steve Hickman ran only his 165th marathon in an excellent and palindromic time of 4:34:33 at the equally wet, windy and hilly Isle of Wight Marathon.
There was also a 10k race along the Hastings seafront which Aaron and Sarah Homewood enjoyed. The lovestruck couple finished in 48:37 and 58:47 respectively.