Excellent times in capital

24 04 2008

THE MOST high-profile road race in the world, the London marathon, was a target for nine members of Dumfries Running Club.

Athletes of varying standards joined the field of over 35,000 who had been training for months for the big day.

With overcast conditions favouring the runners there was every chance of savouring the unique experience of an event that goes past all of the capital’s main landmarks on its 26.2-mile route.

The best performance came from Paul Hart, who has been training hard at 70+ miles a week for the past few months.

In an outstanding performance Paul improved his PB to finish in 241st position in 2hrs 42.

The next club finisher was Richard McDougal in 8,880th place in a very steady and even paced 3hrs 51 in front of Dawn McDonald, who was delighted to break the four-hour mark in 3hrs 55.23.

This meant that she beat singer Ronan Keating, who just dipped a few seconds under four hours.

Next placed were Marian McPhail and Vicky Little, who finished within seconds of each other in 4hrs 15mins in 15,436th and 15,567th respectively, both well into the top half of the field.

This time meant that both were comfortably ahead of Premiership referee Graham Poll in 4.19.

Dr Joyce Hamilton ran a cagey race, hoping to finish around the five-hour mark and raise money for Dumfries Carers and surprised herself with an excellent run in 4hrs 47 in 23,762nd place, 60 seconds in front of Radio 1 DJ Mark ‘Chappers’ Chapman and actor Phil Daniels from Eastenders.

Training partners Margaret Gray and Steve McQueen ran together, raising money for Dumfries Care Trust but their plans did not go as expected as Margaret came down with a stomach bug in the early part of the race and decided to run as best she could in the circumstances.

This meant their time of 5hrs 47 was slower than they anticipated but both are keen to enter next year to get a more realistic time.

Mhairi Douglas travelled but was unable to run due to injury and will hopefully get a chance to post an excellent time next year.

TV viewers may also have noticed the outstanding performance of Dumfries-born international runner Hayley Haining, who was second British woman home in 2hrs 29, which means she may just miss out on selection for the Beijing Olympic marathon in August.

In a busy weekend of races, Simon Mortlock and Chris Adams took part in the Screel hill race near Dalbeattie last Saturday.

The four-and-a-half-mile route, with a steep rise to 400+ metres from sea level and sharp descents, means that it is not one for the faint hearted.

Simon was delighted to finish a few seconds under 40mines and Chris, who fell awkwardly on the descent, hurt his back and limped in just over the 50-minute mark.

Les Hill also raced on Saturday in Yorkshire on the very hilly 37-mile Calderdale Hike, part of the ‘Run Further’ series of off road, self navigation Championship fell races as part of his training for the upcoming 100k Home International championship in four weeks time.

Unfortunately he lived up to the sponsors name by adding an extra three miles to his route due to a mix-up, which meant he did not finish as well up the 200-plus field as he expected but gained valuable stamina training for his upcoming run for Scotland.

David Breen took part in the long standing Tom Scott 10-mile race at Motherwell on Sunday and was delighted with a steady run in 76 mins on a route that was twice round Strathclyde Loch.

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