Striders impress in London Marathon

Gareth Hutchinson
Gareth Hutchinson

Seven Seaford Striders were fortunate enough to be among 36,000 participants in the massively oversubscribed 35th Virgin Money London Marathon.

Due to the sheer volume, there are staggered starts from three different locations which converge after three miles.

There was a Kenyan one-two-three in the men’s race as Eliud Kipchoge beat Wilson Kipsang, the 2012 and 2014 winner, with world record holder Dennis Kimetto third. The women’s race was won by Ethiopian Tigist Tufa, who sprinted clear to finish in 2.23.22.

The emotions of the day were maybe saved for the three time winner and female world record time holder Paula Radcliffe who used the race to bow out of professional running in a time of 2:36:55.

First for the Striders once again, was Simon Fletcher in a personal best time of 2:47:06, crossing the line in 589th place, which is a fantastic achievement amid such an elite field. Close in his footsteps was Gareth Hutchinson who also achieved a sub 3 in 2:59:35; he was followed by Phillip Carr 3:05:10; Dave Dunstall 3:15:45 and Jacob Miles 3:24:54.

It’s testament to their competitive spirit that there was disappointment in not achieving the holy grail of long distance running, a sub-3 hour marathon, but hopefully Carr, Dunstall and Miles will be back next year to put things right.

The first and only female representing the Striders was Hannah Fletcher who crossed the line in a very respectable 4:28:55, with David Hammond completing the Seaford runners’ line-up in 6:16:43 and on an unforgettable day in one of the world’s most prominent marathons, all seven can be justifiably proud of their efforts.

Hailsham Harriers had thirty five competitors participating in their 31st running of their Milland Race in Hailsahm over three laps with a distance of 2.1miles including the infamous hill.

Conditions for recent event were just right with just a cool breeze the competitive field produced some exciting racing with a test of endurance on that climb.

First home after his recent quick Brighton 10k run was David Ayling with the chase lead by Tom Clewley,and Steve Delea and another group with Huw Jones,Giles Bowmer and Graham Purdye in close contention.

In the ladies event Annette Feakes fresh from her recent Malta Marathon was first home and placed ninth overall from Wendy Robson, Flick Webster and Audrey Haddon.

Positions and times were as follows: first David Ayling, 12m37s, second Tom Clewley 13m17s, third Steve Delea 13m31s, fourth Huw Jones 13m53s, fifth Giles Bowmer 13m56s, sixth Graham Purdye 14m02s, seventh Shaun Webster 14m54s, eight Adam Davis 14m56s, ninth(first lady) Annette Feakes 15m00s, 10th Andy Ruffell 15m05s, 11th Bill Fraser 15m25s, 12th Wendy Robson 15m33s, 13th Paul Grenfell (guest) 15m35s, 14th Flick Webster 15m43s, 15th Ian Turnbull 15m50s, 16th Audrey Haddon 16m09s, 17th Colin Burgess 16m21s, 18th Frances Delves 16m36s,19th Tracey Erridge 16m38s, 20th Dan Linford-Jones 16m51s.