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London Marathon 2018

25/04/2018

Last Sunday 8 members of Dumfries Running Club, the largest total for many years joined 40,000 others plus millions watching live on TV for the Virgin London marathon. 

With so many wishing to take part entry is very difficult and newcomer Tom Cammack, Alan Baxter, Kevin Conchar, Charlie Storrie, Les Hill, Sandy Shankland, Alice McPherson and Diana Lord had been training for months hoping to perform well on the biggest of stages.

Unfortunately the weather was the warmest on record and this created significant difficulties for all competitors. 24 degrees centigrade was bad enough but conditions were even more challenging at street level with the heat absorbed by the tarmac and this made the final stages especially difficult. Unfortunately Sandy Shankland was unable to start due to a hamstring injury but he was on hand to encourage and support his clubmates.

Tom Cammack, a former winner of the Crichton parkrun, started confidently, reached the 10k mark in 38mins got to halfway in 80mins and judged his race perfectly and maintained this fast pace to cross the line in 2 hours 50mins in 452nd place. Alan, Kevin and Charlie each of whom have run under 3hours for the distance, started confidently and at 10k Charlie in 39mins was a minute ahead of Kevin with Alan close behind and each was running well, close to the 90minute mark at halfway. The warmer final stages past Canary Wharf and along the Thames really took their toll and each was forced to slow down with Charlie finishing in 3.24 in 3476th place, Kevin in 3.30 and Alan two minutes behind. Kevin managed to raise several thousand pounds for the Beatson cancer centre and each of the three was in the top ten percent or so of the field.

Les Hill knew he was not quite at 100% after a recent bout of flu but decided to take part. He started carefully and got to the 10k mark in a conservative 46mins and the half marathon in 94mins but decided to pull out a couple of miles later to focus his energies on future races. Alice McPherson, raising money for Alopecia UK was understandably nervous before her debut at the distance. She got to 10k in an hour and halfway in 2.17 and was encouraged by the crowds in the difficult final stages and was delighted to complete such a personal challenge in 4 hours 58, a time that placed her in the top half of the field. Diana Lord also ran carefully and used her experience wisely. She ran to halfway in 2.42 and slowed down in the strong sunshine to finish in 5 hours 56.

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