SEVEN Stratford Athletic Club members tackled searing heat as they took to the streets of the British capital for Sunday’s London Marathon.
The marathon can be unpredictable at the best of times but, with the race being held in unseasonably warm conditions, it made the 26.2-mile challenge just that bit harder.
Nevertheless, all seven Stratford runners completed the full distance.
Simon Bolton was the club’s top finisher, crossing the line in 3:35:45 to take three minutes off the personal best he set in New York last year.
“I felt great most of the way,” said Bolton, who maintained a remarkably even pace throughout his run.
“I tired a little after 20 miles, but I finished just about dead on my plan, so I’m delighted.”
Waleed Agabani was next to finish. He had been on course for a finishing time inside four hours, but he suffered with cramps from the eighth mile onwards and eventually finished in 4:19:18.
Carl James followed soon afterwards in 4:19:59. After a strong start, Andrew Cox was reduced to a slow jog in the second half but still completed the distance in 4:27:13.
Ryan Bakewell was the next Stratford AC athlete to cross the finish line, clocking 4:52:51. He was followed by Nicola Reynolds (4:59:30) and Sophie Hewitt (5:17:28).
Kenyan duo Eliud Kipchoge (2:04:17) and Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:30) claimed the top honours.
Earlier in the day, two of Stratford AC’s leading young talents took part in the London Mini Marathon – a three-mile race for three different age groups – U13, U15 and U17.
Georgie Campbell placed 26th in the U15 girls’ race in 18:08, making her the second-fastest finisher in the West Midlands team.
Competing in the U13 boys’ race, Alex Adams recorded the same time, 18:08, to finish 63rd overall in his category. He was fourth finisher for the West Midlands, helping his team to a sixth-placed finish in the team standings.