The Return of the Marathon

After a six month hiatus, competitive marathon racing returned on Sunday, with the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon. Described as one of the prettiest trail events in the UK, the challenging route took participants through the stunning Surrey Hills. It passed along parts of the Pilgrim Way and the North Downs Way, paid for at the cost of 2,300 feet (700 metres) of elevation. 

Three Gade Valley Harriers completed the course in unseasonably high temperatures and glorious sunshine. Extra precautions were put in place to keep everyone safe amidst Covid-19 concerns, with runners told to provide their own hand sanitizer and face coverings to use while in the event village before and after the race, and staggered start times.

Teresa Reason was the first of the trio to complete the 26.2 mile course, clocking a time of 3:49, with Phil Mercer not far behind in 3:58. Jono Marval crossed the line in 4:12. 

Elsewhere, a couple of club members were taking part in shorter distance races.

Nicoletta Charalambous completed the Kew Gardens 10k – her first ever race of that distance. The completely flat route was entirely in the grounds of the idyllic West London garden attraction, and she planted a great time of 43:34.

Dave Goodman completed the fairly-flat St Clare’s Hospice 10k along the country roads around North Weald in Essex in 44:03.