Manchester Marathon

GRC had 11 members joined the strong field of runners for this year’s Manchester Marathon. With near perfect running conditions on Sunday 14th April, the runners joined nearly 22,000 others at the Old Trafford Cricket stadium where they set off in waves.

Runners set off from the stadium into the city centre for the early miles, then southwest past Old Trafford towards Sale and Altrincham, before turning around to head back towards the finish at the famous cricket ground. Throughout the 26.2miles, the streets were lined with cheering friends, family and members of the public who provided an endless supply of sweets, words of encouragement and high fives.

First back for GRC was Gavin Potter who ran with the name Penny on his shirt in memory of his Grandad. Gavin ran an incredible race, clocking 2:45:15 which is a 13min 19 sec PB from last year’s race.
Next in was Andrew Devine who broke the 3hr barrier for the first time with an amazing time of 2:56:49. Andrew commented that it was one of the best organised races he has been to and praised the GRC cheer squad out on course at mile 24, giving him the boost needed to push on for the last couple miles.

The first female to finish for GRC was Holly Durham who was also celebrating her birthday. She ran a great time, especially given that 2023 was spent mostly injured, staging a spectacular comeback to finish just outside her personal best time in 3:18:08.

GRC had 4 runners making their debuts at the marathon distance. A mere 12 months ago, James McMullen had just started the club’s “Beginning to run” course and from there on, he has excelled in all distances throughout the year. James easily broke the 4-hour mark clocking an impressive 3:45:02.

Kev Wallace and Amy Jennison both ran a great race clocking 4:01:13 and 4:05:02. Vicki Ball planned for 4:15 and smashed her target with a time of 4:13:14.

All commented on the great support throughout the race. Amy loved it so much she has already signed up for next year.
Seasoned marathoner Mark Angeloni treated the event as a training run for the Edinburgh Marathon in May. Mark opted to pace two friends running the marathon for the first time and delivered them over the line perfectly at just under the 4-hour mark in 3:57:05.

Zoe Wragg should have been on the start line two years ago but a stress fracture two weeks out from the race sadly put a stop to that. Determined this year to get to the start line, her careful training paid off with a great race, beating her PB by a massive 45 mins, clocking 4:11:53. Zoe did comment after the race saying she had forgotten how far a marathon is…

Experienced marathon runner Caroline Davis came home in a time of 3:58:50 – what’s more she ran the London Marathon a mere week later. (how she will cope knowing both marathons will be on the same day next year remains to be seen…)
The final runner for GRC is Sam Dodwell, who started the race knowing he had a slight injury niggle to his leg. He still stuck to his original race plan with his fingers crossed that it wouldn’t play up. Sadly the injury reared its head early on so Sam had to slow right down to a comfortable pace from mile 12 to be able to still enjoy the race. He still finished in a credible time of 3:38:35.

The men’s race was won by Adam Clarke (Aldershot Farnham & District) in 2:16:29 and the female race was won by Charlie Arnell (Milton Keynes Distance Project) in 2:37:12.

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