Athletics: Harriers magnificent fourteen conquer London Marathon

ALL the Harriers 14 starters finished the London Marathon on Sunday.

The conditions helped 5 of them to return personal bests.

Steve Prosser, who has been injured for most of the winter, finished 415 in the 37,000 competitors. His time of 2h 47m16s was outside his pb but a remarkable performance given his unpromising preparation.

After his usual cautious start Scott Rice moved smoothly through to an excellent pb of 2hr49m58s just missing a place in the top 500.

Supported by his wife Angela, 3 sons and his parents Scott’s recent hard training paid off well. The biggest improvement amongst the experienced campaigners was that of Jason Syrett. The Grays based
former goal-keeper improved his best by nearly 10 minutes with a time of 3h14m44s. What makes this time all the more gratifying is that he gets the advantageous ‘good for age’ start next year.

Mark Cable was also a massive improver. His time came down to 3h28m17s from his previous best which was 20 minutes slower.

The club’s only female competitor, Toni Noble, also achieved a personal best with 3h17m16s. Toni’s training had gone well and this excellent performance was evidence of it.

Running in his first marathon Nick Trencher finished with 3h50m despite being stopped by an attack of cramp in the last 2 miles. But this was a steep learning curve for this newcomer to the sport but will stand him in good stead for when he competes next time.

The Club’s quintet of experienced marathon runners let nobody down. John Russell ran a beautifully judged race to finish in 2h59m20s. John Green, 30 seconds behind, was relieved to break the 3 hour barrier. His triplet brother, Paul, returned 3h6m7s. Phil Oatham, another whose preparation was less than ideal, returned 3h24m21s.

Richard Amery, who had run the Boston Marathon a week or two ago, returned 3h 24m 39s. Grays resident Martin Mack who is a 2nd claim member of the club ran 3h15m51s which is a personal best.

The Club’s former paraolympic champion, Danny Crates, running for Sportsaid, got round the 26.2 mile course in 4h43m25s.

Thurrock’s true London Marathon hero, Pat Dobbs, completed his 33rd year in the event. He got round in 3h48m46s. Pat, as always, judged his effort perfectly but would have been a little disappointed to have lost out in the medals for the 70+ age group by finishing 4th.

Having said that this remains an almost superhuman effort from the Grays based Irishman who in recent years has overcome injury and illness to continue to perform at the very highest level.

Regulars at The Bell in Horndon will be interested to see that the Landlord John Vereker’s son Julian completed the course in 3h29m6s. Julian, whose main sport is cricket, will go into the summer season fitter than he has ever been before!

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