ATHLETICS: Sleaford club members runs first marathon

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Sleaford Town Runners club member Mark Ellis, with his guide Mike Folland, travelled south for Mark to run his first ever marathon – the Kent Roadrunner.

After a steady start, some strategic walking was needed after the 11th of 17 one-and-a-half mile laps, which allowed more consumption of refreshments at the official feed station. Revitalised, the walking became steadily less and Mark had a strong final lap, at almost the pace of his early ones.

After a wonderful day, Mark crossed the finish line in 5hr 12min 5sec and was rewarded with what is the largest finishers’ medal in Europe.

Mark said the organisation of the event was perfect, with a good, smooth 10m wide track: “We used a Garmin set to ‘auto lap by position’ to count the laps. The laps themselves are varied and interesting with no long depressing straights, full of curves and undulations. There’s no real hill but those undulations add up. Overall there is about 1,000 feet of climbing and descending.

“The camaraderie between the runners was quite different from most races and most encouraging for all.”

Mark said he received wonderful support from officials, spectators and fellow athletes.

l Louise McCauley, Karl Brown, Sarah Whatton and Shaun Louth all travelled up to Edinburgh for the marathon weekend. Despite a wet start to the race and 40mph winds en route, all the runners managed to run the marathon safely.

The finishing times were Karl Brown 4.32, Sarah Whatton 4.43, Louise McCauley 4.53 and Shaun Louth 5.49.

l Clare Bergner, Helen Barker, Louise McCauley and Shaun Louth all hit the road to Derby for the Ramathon half-marathon and were among around 3,000 runners taking part.

The route ran down towards Shardlow and then headed to Ambaston and on to Elvaston where the course went through the country park. The final part ran alongside the River Derwent before finishing at Pride Park.

The finishing times were Louise McCauley 2.15.43, Shaun Louth 2.15.49, Helen Barker 2.49.30 and Clare Bergner 2.53.52.