Yet another World Record - Jeff does it again.
Please see race report from our very own world record holder and roving reporter, Jeff Whittington
Im sure you will all join me in congratulating Jeff on this fantastic result. It goes without saying, some outstanding results from across the entire club. Well done everyone...
St 2012 VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON
The weather forecast for this year's VLM was pretty dismal, rain and wind, however when the day arrived it was almost perfect running weather, sunny but not too hot and little wind.
This was only the second time that I had ever run a marathon with both my sons (the other time being Loch Ness in 2007). Russell, with his 2011 time of 2:40, got his 'usual' Championship place, whilst Harvey was successful through the ballot system. I was there via my Good for Age time of 3:07, achieved at last year's event. We were supported by my youngest brother Barrie, who, only the week before, had run his first ever 26 miler, in Brighton.
Before entering our starting pens, I managed to meet up with Howard and, after a bit of nervous jogging and stretching surrounded by runners in every costume imaginable, we headed off to the start line. As my race number had been changed at the last minute, I didn't have a starting pen number, so just tagged along with Howard to pen number one, the one with the 'celebrities' in it, although I failed to spot anyone famous, apart from Howard.
However, when I tried to get in, a burly security guard stopped me and asked what my pen number was. Not having one, he told me to go to the Help Desk and get one. At the desk the lady asked me what time I was expecting to finish in. I told her that I'd run it in 3:07 in 2011, so she told me to go to pen two. Being a bit cheeky I returned to pen one but was accosted by the security guard again asking where my pen number was. I told him that the lady hadn't given me anything, but had said to use pen one. "What finish time did you tell her?" he asked. "Three hours", I lied. so he let me in.
Howard and I wished each other luck and, bang on time (09:45) off we set. The Red Start is not that congested, unlike the Mass Start, and we both crossed the Start Line in under 30 seconds. I had trained to run at a three hour pace and, as with all my other races, set off at a steady pace of 4:33/km (7:19/mile).
I ran the first five kilometres in 20:42, a bit faster than I had intended but I felt fine but made myself slow down and reached the 10K mark in 41:34. The people of London certainly turn out in force and style and it's great to run to the beat of all the bands and music systems that line the capital's streets.
As all my friends and running colleagues know, I never notice any landmarks during races, after all I did run passed the huge La Sagrada Familia cathedral during the Barcelona marathon. and didn't spot it. This year I managed to catch a glimpse of the Cutty Sark and, obviously, Tower Bridge. I reached the half-way point in 1:28:16, still feeling full of energy.
As I'd had my name printed onto my running vest, I had loads of encouragement from the thousands of spectators lining the streets, which certainly gives you a lift when the going starts to hurt a bit. I kept checking my Garmin and could see that my pace was slowing but I was still on target for a sub three hour time, could I make it?
Three or four kilometres from home, I passed James Cracknell, who looked as if he was suffering quite badly. I wished him well, as best I could, and gritted my teeth for the final few miles. My legs were feeling very, very heavy and I kept telling them that they felt strong, but I think that I must have deaf legs because they didn't take any notice of me.
I turned the corner into the final stretch up The Mall, only a few hundred metres to go, I was still on for my target, but it was going to be close. keep going legs. I could see that the race clock was approaching the three hour mark, keep going legs, not far now. James Crackell returned the favour and went passed me, looking even more knackered than I felt. I tried not to look at my Garmin and thought to myself: "You've had a great run, even if you don't make it in under three hours!"
As I crossed the finish, I looked up at the clock above and it read 3:00:11, however I knew that I had a few seconds to spare, but was it enough. I stopped my watch. two hours, 59 minutes and 58 seconds. talk about cutting it fine. I'm a great believer in positive thinking and had visualised finishing in 2:59:59, although my official chip time was 2:59:54.
Many times I'd dreamed of completing a marathon in less than three hours but, two months short of my 65th birthday, I didn't think that I would ever achieve it. ye of little faith. On reflection, I think that I would have been mightily frustrated had I not achieved my time goal by a few seconds.
As you can imagine you're pretty exhausted after running 26.2 miles, but when I saw my time, I felt all the pain lift from my aching body. I proudly stepped forward and received my medal, T-shirt and goody bag.
However, the pain relief didn't last that long and after a few steps both my feet felt numb, so I sought some assistance from the very, very nice people of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade. Two very attractive young ladies advised me to sit down, but I soon jumped up again when my left leg cramped up badly. I stood up and my weary legs were massaged back to life again.
I soon met up with Russell and his Bellahouston Road Runner pals, I showed them my time but they already were aware of it, the wonders of modern science. I think Russell was a little 'disappointed' with his finish time of 2:42:07, a time that most marathoners would be immensely proud of. Harvey was certainly chuffed with his time of 4:10:05, knocking 10 minutes off his PB.
After a few enquiries we were told by Guinness World Records that we had bettered our 2011 world record for fastest parent and child with an aggregate time of 5:42:01. I also found out that I was third in the Over 60 category (out of 529 finishers) and 1,220th overall (out of over 36,500 finishers).
Some other facts about my run (according to RunPix):
. Over the final seven kilometres, I passed 120 runners but was passed by 69 runners.
. I finished ahead of 100 per cent of women runners (not convinced about that one)
. I was the 1,125th placed British runner and 1,162th male home
. There were about 35,522 runners behind me and three per cent of runners ahead
. My average speed was 14.1 kph/8.8 mph
. Edward Lumley just beat me by 21 seconds. running dressed as a carrot (mind you, the world's fastest carrot)
Here's to VLM 2013, as long as I remember to post my Good for Age application.