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2014 Virgin Money London Marathon

13/04/2014

On Sunday, seven DRC members joined the field of 36,000 runners who took to the capital's streets for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. Kevin Conchar and Susan Gallagher sent the following accounts of their race experiences...

Kevin... "My training hadn't gone as well as in previous attempts so I wasn't sure how I would do. I decided to just go for it and see how long I could hang on! The weather got warmer during the race but I managed to hold pretty even splits most of the way round. Obviously by 20 miles I was getting tired but was delighted to be holding my pace and seemed to be coping better with the conditions than many around me.

By 25 miles I knew a sub 3 hour was in the bag and that there was still the slight possibility of a PB. As it rolled out I pushed hard down Birdcage walk but it wasn't to be in the end and finished 25 seconds over my best time (unfortunately about the same amount of time I took for an unavoidable pee break at mile 16!).

All in all it was a decent run and my 2:55:46 finishing time has given me back the hunger for more!"...

Susan... "My main target for London was to enjoy the unique experience of a big city marathon and secondly to try and get close to 4 hours. With the latter in mind I settled into under 4 hour pace of 8.45 min/miles with ease despite the crush of runners around me and the hazard of water bottles strewn across the road every mile. The first 13 miles flew by and the crowds and drumming bands were fantastic in raising a smile and renewing motivation... the noise was deafening in places!

As the race progressed I ran on and off with Caroline and Lesley from Dumfries Harriers until nearly 20 miles, still close to a 4 hour finish, before they surged ahead as fatigue set in with me. I didn't fight the expected slowing in pace but instead I ensured I saw the landmark sites en route and enjoyed the encouragement from the crowds. There were lots of cheers from Scots shouting 'C'mon Dumfries' which prevented me from having a wee walk break until mile 24!

I finished in 4:15:47 feeling strong, emotional and very happy to have been lucky to experience the London marathon, it really was incredible. Now my focus is to take my DRC vest abroad to my target marathon in Amsterdam in October"...

Helen Pedley was another of the DRC contingent to comment on the great atmosphere experienced at the event. Her plan was to keep a steady pace throughout and this was going accordingly until the heat started to take it's toll in the second half. She was then forced to take a few walking breaks but was given a boost when she met up with club-mate Nicola Allan. The pair then enjoyed each others company for a mile or so before Helen declined Nicola's kind offer to wait for her as she felt Nicola was looking pretty strong at that point and she didn't want to slow her down. Nicola finished in 4:42:25 with Helen in 5:01:09.

Steve Mohan provided the following details on the fortunes of the Club's other London representatives:

Adam Dickie was quietly confident of a strong run on his debut and all seemed well as he reached halfway in just under 90 mins but as the race went on he started to struggle but battled through to reach the line in 3:34.

Alison Groat has quietly been putting in an impressive amount of effort for her London debut and she was cautiously optimistic that she could better the frustrating time of 4 hours and 13 seconds of her previous attempt at the distance. Starting carefully she thoroughly enjoyed the experience to cross the line in an excellent 3 hours 52.

Ross Queen was very careful in his run, making sure he stayed between 5 and 6 minutes for each kilometre and this plan worked well till 20 miles when he was forced to slow down and he completed the race in 4 hours 26.

Club results:

Kevin Conchar 2:55:46

Adam Dickie 3:34:54

Alison Groat 3:52:54

Susan Gallagher 4:15:47

Ross Queen 4:26:03

Nicola Allan 4:42:25

Helen Pedley 5:01:09

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