The Southampton Marathon seems to be growing in popularity, especially for Island runners. This year 24 road runners hopped across the Solent to take on the Marathon, Half, 10K or the 5K. Despite concerns that Glen’s presence was going to curse them all with a baking hot day, it was a fresh, chilly morning which didn’t feel pleasant whilst hanging around waiting for the start, but really represented very good running conditions.
The marathon saw 6 runners taking part, and saw the most standout performances from our club runners. Many runners go through phases when they can shell out PBs on a regular basis, but when a runner with the experience and calibre of Simon Randall turns in a PB, you know it is something a bit special. Chatting on the ferry over Simon told me he expected to be under 4 hours, and that he had some targets below that if it went well. It certainly did go well for our joint favourite shop keeper, as he glided home in 3:30:14, a 2 minute PB.
A couple of minutes down the road another marathon PB was unfolding, as Jon Bye was continuing his incredible run of form. Despite the shock of passing 26.2 miles (on his watch), to be told by the marshall that there was only 500m to go, Jon ploughed on to register a 2 minute PB of his own.
There were also notable performances by Richard Bezer returning to form and wonder woman Gill Shaw. You’d think these performances wouldn’t be topped, but then along comes Bev James. Bev has run a few marathons, but having gone through a life changing health regime, a few that had trained with her in recent weeks were expecting great things, and Bev did not dissapoint. Bev turned in an awesome time of 4:31:17. That’s an eye watering 28 minute PB!
So onto the main event of the day, and that is the domination of the other distances but those running under the banner of ‘Always With Darren’, in memory of Darren Andrew. Their striking red t-shirts grouped together in bundles to take on the Southampton courses. First home was Kev Winchcombe, continuing to run really well, followed by Julie Rasmussen, Steve Apsey and Hannah East. Then at around the 2:06 mark flooded home the red t-shirts, accompanying the leader of the pack Jane Andrew.
The PBs over the HM distance all came from our newer members Amy Webster, Michelle Wooldridge and Rob Procter who all continue their impressive improvements.
In the 10K Briony Andrew was also running to represent her Dad, and the red t-shirts were also in evidence in the 5K where is was great to see Gill Bushell and Claire Howard back in action.
(PB’s represent a PB over that distance)