Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers outstanding in Virgin London Marathon

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Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers had five runners in the Virgin London Marathon last weekend in what has become one of the biggest and well known of all races.

The race started in near perfect conditions, but temperatures rose after an hour or so of running.

Paul Wilson set a personal best time over the 26.2 mile distance when he won the Sunderland Marathon in 2012 in a time of 2:43:31.

His training for London 2017 was impeccable, with Paul not experiencing any injuries and being able to stick to a robust training plan.

However, the marathon distance is extremely testing and even the best prepared athletes can experience difficulties into the race.

Paul set off at the pace he needed to maintain to grasp a sub 2:40 run.

He settled into his pace really well and by the half marathon point he was well on track, running through the 13.1 mile marker in 1:19:04.

Those tracking Paul’s race were excited to see this and hoping he could maintain his momentum over the second half of the race.

Little did they know that Paul actually had more in reserve and picked up his pace over the second half to run the next 13.1 miles in 1:17:58 to knock six and a half minutes off his previous marathon personal best time, finishing in 2:37:02.

Paul’s average pace was 5 minutes and 59 seconds per mile and he placed 194th overall of 40,000 runners.

An outstanding, thoroughly well-deserved result.

John Davis was the next Harrier to cross the line in 3:12:40.

His race had gone very well over the first half marathon, with John crossing 13.1 miles in 1:30:11.

His pace dropped after 20 miles but he enjoyed the experience of running through the capital.

John is very capable of beating his PB of 3:03 and going sub 3hours when able to stick to a training plan not affected by flu.

Steve Morrison was looking for a 3 hour run too and was running on pace until around 20 miles, keeping the 3 hour pacer in his sights.

Despite the effects of the weather and fatigue, he managed to hang on to knock half an hour off his previous best, crossing the line in a brilliant time of 3:15:51.

Richard Hambly is currently training for a solo 24 hour race and was using his entry into London as a good training run, as well as experiencing the fantastic atmosphere and support of the crowds.

He ran through the half marathon mark in 1:43:24 and dug deep to finish the 26.2 miles in 3:57:56.

Some way off his best time of 3:17 set in York in 2015, but a great run nonetheless.

Burn Road Harrier Claire Earle had to stop her training around five weeks before the marathon due to an injury to her leg which impacted on her being able to run her final few long runs to prepare for the full distance.

Nevertheless, she took her place on the start line and vowed to finish.

She passed through the half marathon milestone in 2:18 and powered on to the finish line in 4:50:23

Stephen Kirk is no longer a member of Burn Road but he has kept running.

He raced round the capital in an exceptional time of 2:40:26.

Closer to home Bill Hornby raced the undulating 10k trail race at Washington, claiming 34rd place in 50:58.