London 2014 - Ravens Runners London

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London Marathons
London Marathon
13 April 2014 - the 34th (started in 1981)

I will get mine out the way. Phil gave me a lift to the start in yet another new car. Lazed around in the sunshine reading the papers. I spoke to Lisa and Dave Butler who looked thin even by his own standards! Based on Saturday’s run, I had revised my target down to 3.30. The first 10 (at 7.30s) were a nice Sunday jog and I spoke to a number of Tuck’s club mates who response to his 3.09 target were largely the same (b*******). It started getting harder but made it to 20 in just over 2.30, having been passed by Dave Miller at about 15 miles. Pain got the better of me and walk/jogged the rest. Embarrassing to walk past my parents, but I think I was running (just) when Arif shouted at me. 3.29.11. 2nd worst marathon, but for once relaxed about it – probably shouldn’t have run and will come back stronger for it!
I shall now sit back and read some inspiring race reports – great runs everyone- especially Dave Butler – awesome!
Robin McCoy (3.29.11)
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Well Robin I did see you Dave Meller x 2 Dave Butler x 2 Tucks and saw Simon outwards in the group. I thought you all looked fine by I did think Dave Meller has gone too quick!. My day.. I always look forward to it .. setting the table up at 7 15 and then going for a run enjoying the banter and then watching the race. Unlike the other water stations on elite ones you do not hand them a drink but you watch them grab it and once the elite are through you can watch the race. This year was not as enjoyable as in the past. Our tables are separated from the public by tape and we are under strict instructions not to allow the public to encroach. This year the job was tough. It was a nice day, in all my time of being involved in the marathon (since 1985) , either as a runner or helping, have never seen larger crowds. Despite telling them to hold back they were encroaching well before the elite runners had been through. Most are easy to deal with but there are always the rude arrogant ones (seem to be getting more) who want confrontation. Sadly, I stand my ground and they get it , most back down but not before pointing the finger of blame at you . Even those in tracksuits/marshall jackets were getting it from some.
I think the organisers need to seriously think about how they organise the start. I believe we can learn from the tri’ guys/ Manchester City races and have waves. Elite and non charity runners below 3 15 followed 30 mins later by charity and plus 3 15 guys, thou we will need to accommodate the sub 3 30 women with the first wave.
I thought there were some great performances from the runners yesterday. I look at Simon Phillips , Tucks and Butler as very good performances. Simon , despite being busy his improvement since joining us has been great, Tucks to overcome injury and run sub 3 is a great result and David Butler – well I am running out of words, at 61 and taking 2 mins off an existing remarkable pb is simply quite unbelievable. We have Andy C running with us who was an awesome runner , Mick B who is a great over 55 and Luke at 50 will be exceptional but in Dave we have a truly world class one – get that world class- and we should all be honoured and in awe. Well run all.
Phil Hernon
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Met Lisa at the start and with good conditions I fancied a good run. Like last year (green start) I had a three minute warm up with ten minutes to go. This was a mistake in FGFA though as it meant I missed out on Pen 1 and unfortunately ended up at the back of FGFA.
So had to do a lot of weaving and going wide to pass people, so when half way came in 1:26:48 I thought, with hopefully less oscillation required, I should be able to -ve split and picked up the pace for a while, but slowed again around IOD. I maybe could have addressed it but was wary of going too fast too early. Slowed a little more but never a struggle and once the 23 arch came up I finished strong and felt fine at the end. Second half 1:27:38, so +50sec split for 2:54:26. Saw Dave (Meller) & Tucks before heading to Chandos for a couple of beers with Arif and Luke.
Simon Phillips (2.54.26 - 7 minute PB)
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I met Dave Butler at the start and we spent the best part of an hour preparing, chatting and swapping tips and experiences. Can I therefore claim to have helped 'coach' him to such a fantastic performance? We lined up in the GFA start at the front of the Red start where I met and chatted with a number of my Blackheath club mates.
The race went as planned - both for better and for worse. As expected, it was warm and I felt the heat in the latter stages of the race. I also found the congestion unbearable all the way round. I expect most of us ran at least another half mile over the course as we avoid other runners/walkers. I took on plenty of water but felt quite dehydrated by the end of the race. I planned to pace about 6.45 and was pleased to be fairly consistent all the way round. Looking at my watch in the last 800m I knew i was on for sub three so picked it up and ran hard to the finish. Pleased indeed to break 3 again.
Many thanks for all the support along the way. When I run this sort of race I very much go 'into the zone' so didn't spot many faces (Phil and Luke I saw plus some Blackheath club mates) but I heard plenty more of you. Thanks - it really makes a difference. I was also lucky enough to meet up with Simon and his family at the finish so was able to congratulate him on an astounding PB - 7 minutes. Check out his splits as well - consistency is key. And of course my new athlete I am training, Dave Butler. Is there anything he can't do if he sets his mind to it.
Andy Tucker (2.59.34)
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Well done everyone for some fantastic times including Robin who I don't think was really fit enough after injury. So he showed great determination. Also, thanks very much all for the kind comments on my performance. I'm very happy with the result. I aim to get to 2:45 eventually! Scott Rice finished just behind me so we had a joint photo which was great. Think he just dipped under 2:49 so great performance by him.
As Andy T reported, we chatted for an hour or so before the race having waited forlornly for the photo call at 9am. I'm glad he got under 3 hours while not taking the race too seriously. I took on board Andy's tips for the race so confidently went to the start line ready for the race where I saw Robin (he shouted loudly). Then we were off and I ran with Gary Chandler (Springfield) for a way who had been injured but was running at 6:10 pace so I dropped back then it was Paul Dobson (Springfield) doing the same thing so I let him go as well. I got to halfway on target in 1:23 having gone a bit too quick over the first 10k but then settled down. Lovely run down to Docklands then graft through it and the hard work really begins on the road back to Tower Bridge. Caught and passed Gary C and Paul D and quite a few others along here though I was tiring myself. Struggled down to and along the Embankment but again seemed to be picking up places. Then had a good last 2k back on pace and an attempted sprint at the end when I saw that I could get 2:48.
Saw Phil twice and Marcus (bridge at mile 23) and others at various points. Great encouragement from everyone. All round a fantastic day with large crowds supporting.
Dave Butler (2.48.46 - 1st M60 - PB by 2 minutes)
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Started off slow yesterday with the 1st 6 mins in 7.30 pace then the Plan was to push on to 7.15 pace, which was going ok until 10 miles then got really bad stomach pain, decided to push on and was going to pull out at half way but started to feel better went through half way in 98.40. Then by 14 miles was going really good this lasted until about 23 miles then the wheels really started to fall off, managed to cross line in 3.14.26 which was a pb of 2 mins so over the moon.
David Miller (3.14.26 - 2 minute PB)
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2:54.5 from me with Simon about the same - not sure who pipped who! Dave Butler a good few minutes ahead. Mine was a run of two halves. Flying and minding my own business until the Cramp twins decided to run with me - one in each calf. A massive positive split as opposed to what sounded like a nice even one from Simon.
Great day though. Weather great, crowds great. What running is all about....!!!!!
Dave Meller (2.54.28)
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Well done all great performances, especially Mr Butler, world class. Great runs Simon and Tucks
As for my run: I saw Lisa at the start then headed to the blue start and met up with some club mates. Training had gone pretty well up to about 4 weeks ago when my Achilles start to play up, it didn't stop me running but I had to ease off the speed work, I was a bit worried about it at the start and as i couldn't feel it as we started I got a bit carried away, I was aiming for 3:25 so should have been running 7:45 but got to 5k in under 23 minutes, my 3rd mile was 7:05! I should have known better but it felt so comfortable and I was really happy that the Achilles was ok. When I saw Robin just in front of me at the cutty sark I realised I should slow down a little and was running fairly consistent 7:45 miles from mile 7 to 18. The wheels came off at 18 and I really struggled from then on, sort of got a second wind at 20 miles but then from 22 to the finish I was largely unaware of anything going on, finished in 3:33. Maybe the heat didn't help but no excuses except going off too quick!
I was on the highway when the front runners went through at 35k not long after Mo went through and what a reception and cheer he got not only from the crowd but the runners going the other way.
Andy Morcombe (3.33.48)
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I heard rather than saw Phil jog past me whilst we were still waiting for our water to turn up at mile 14. Turns out the driver broke his foot on the tail lift whilst at a different water station so took a very long time to get to us – it was gone 9.15am and when it finally arrived, it really was all hands on deck! It was terrific being at a water station, I’ve never done that before, either spectated or run. I was hoarse by the end of the day, shouting at everyone, calling out their names and generally being very enthusiastic and vocal! I did see Robin (helped as he had the Ravens vest on) and I think I saw another but as I’m not familiar with faces yet, I didn’t see any others. Was great watching Mo go past and I have to say with the elite men and women, they don’t seem to be shifting as they don’t waste energy whilst running, but of course you know they are. I checked on the tracker for Ravens and was dead chuffed to see Simon’s time well under 3 hours.
Well done everyone, what a wonderful day for a marathon, weather conditions perfect.
VICKY COOPER
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