Marathons and more Fairy Mishaps

The Easter weekend was a long one and clearly too long for every result to be reported correctly. Somehow rumours of a 5k race in Beaconsfield on Easter Monday had surfaced earlier in the weekend but then by the time of writing, nobody could remember exactly who had mentioned a 5k race and where it was. To cap it all, the Magic Results Fairy didn’t do her job so nobody wrote about it.

With apologies to Paula Cook, who was running her first race for some time, Jono Marval (who told me about the race but I forgot, then he got sent to New York, or somewhere in the US anyway, for work so couldn’t run) and Loredana Pace (Lory Pace), who may or may not be changing her name as frequently as Henry Hill at the end of Goodfellas, the race in Beaconsfield was actually a 5 mile race.

Paula Cook, running her first race for some time, said, “I ran the Beaconsfield 5 mile trail run on Easter Monday. It was my first organised run for a while. My time was 57:44 which I was pleased with considering the rain & mud on the day.” Lordana also finished the race under the hour mark, crossing the line in 59:13. She couldn’t be approached for comment because I don’t know who to approach or what name to use.

Paula and [insert name here] at Beaconsfield

With the big city marathons all back in their Spring slots in the calendar, April 17th was the turn of Manchester to put on a show. This is a popular marathon, second only to London in terms of participants, but there were only 4 Gade Valley runners in Manchester this time (2 of whom can be regarded as absent friends), perhaps because a large cohort from GVH ran the last Manchester Marathon, only a few months ago last Autumn.

Gareth Tucker capped off his fine training block by running a new PB, by some distance. In an unusually talkative mood on Whatsapp, Gareth offered, “11:30 minute PB. The last 3 were tough, up to that point I felt alright.” Gareth’s time of 3:03:41 is very likely to be good enough to get him a Good for Age place at the startline for next year’s London Marathon, being over 6 minutes inside the baseline time where the cut off time has been around 3 minutes since the qualification rules were updated 5 years ago.

Strong pose

Trevor Normoyle is a regular marathon runner, well into double figures for marathons completed. He ran strongly to finish the race in 3:46:53. I saw Trevor on the train on the way home yesterday but I didn’t approach him for comment because I was in a bad mood and couldn’t be bothered to walk the 2 metres to talk to him. I was also jealous that he had a seat and I didn’t, although a couple of days after a marathon, he probably needed it more than me.

Friends, and recent full time members of the club, Dave Goodman and Lizzy Andrews also ran the 26 miles in Manchester. Dave finished the course in 3:26:12, proving once again that he is a very good runner if he doesn’t insist on running a marathon every other week. No photos were available at the time of writing so we don’t know if he was wearing his famous banana costume. Lizzy Andrews, last seen at the Milton Keynes 20 back in March, showed that her training had gone very well, clocking an excellent time of 3:56:46.

Hopefully the banana has been washed

I had read years ago that Boston has the strictest entry requirements of any of the big city marathons. It is open, apparently, to elite runners, those that live within the metropolitan area of Boston and Americans who can achieve qualifying times similar to the Good for Age system for the London Marathon. There is no ballot entry. So it was with mild surprise that I read that Katie Ellis had run the Boston Marathon last Sunday. Katie herself takes up the story:

From an injury and on crutches in November, to Covid and recovery in December and January. It’s been a crazy marathon training journey. There are lots of people that helped me along the way, of which I am truly grateful and so glad I also joined GVH back in June.

Boston UK is a lovely rural marathon course with fantastic marshalls and spectators at every junction along the countryside lanes. Not to mention it is as flat as a pancake!!! Onwards and upwards to the next crazy and exciting challenge!

Boston can be wet. This isn’t Boston but it is wet.

Katie clearly enjoyed her experience and was rewarded with a PB, completing the course in an official time of 4:13:33.

Well done to everybody who ran last weekend, particularly those that achieved a new PB. Onwards to next weekend and the London Marathon.