April 22nd, Virgin London Marathon time has been and gone but for those who ran, the recovery road is long and usually painful. Immense heat made running tough for all competitors and the difficult conditions were reflected in people’s times and for some, unfortunately, their enjoyment.
All 7 Sarn Helen runners have described how challenging the day was with some experiencing empty water stations, others hitting the wall in the second half and one ill-fated DNF with Carwyn Davies’ resurrection of an old injury at the mile 9. This said the circumstances of the event made finishing an even sweeter achievement and the club is immensely proud and humbled by the dedication and outcome of our representatives.
Kenneth Caulkett and Nigel Davies both returned to the English Capital for the second time, their first being two years ago, 2016, in some great conditions. Back then Cauklett ran his amazing PB of 2:49:16; this year he set off at an ideal pace which he held till mile 13 where heat of the day and the city claustrophobia took over. Caulkett crossed the line in an enviable time of 3:09:51.
Davies knew his training was not as it had been on the start line of previous marathons but he set himself off to a speedy start, motivated by his first ‘Good for age’ qualification. Hitting the halfway point in 1:32 he felt good but again the raising temperature took over, causing cramps. At one-point Davies even had to stop, stretch and revaluate. Deciding his priority was just to finish and with the help of the crowds this he did, in a fab time of 3:24:29. Not a PB but a true accomplishment.
Running for a charity that this man lives and breaths by it is always a pleasure to see Terry Wyn Davies competing in his Firefighters Charity vest. A fireman himself he involves himself in many charitable events and fundraisers on behalf of the lifesaving organisation and it wasn’t his first jaunt round the crowded London streets in aid of raising awareness and funds. Enjoying the experiencing as much as possible and enthused by the cheers of the crowds Terry ran a time of 4:39:46.
Making for a family affair and enjoying a child free weekend away Jenny Cauklett made it a double celebration as she covered the same exhausting 26.2 miles as her husband but for Jenny it was a VLM first. Struggling under the oppressive heat during the middle miles Mrs Caulkett found a second wind as the list of landmarks flew by and she was overjoyed to finish in a super PB time of 4:41:25.
Having been successful in clinching a seemingly rare ballot entry into the most famous marathon in the world Martin Darby strapped his trainers on quick and got training. The warm and muggy day was a day of firsts for Darby, his first Marathon, his first race in aid of his local Meithrin, Cylch Meithrin Glan Y Mor and his first time in smashing through the desirable 5 hour marathon mark as he finished in 4:54:17. What a way to celebrate your 10 year wedding anniversary!
Completing her second London Marathon and another celebration on the day came from Sarn Helens Emma Gray who took to the city streets, in aid of Tenovus Cancer Care, on her 41st birthday. Battling the midday sun where the extremely tough conditions took many victims, Gray experienced sun burn before the start line and near dehydration due to lack of fluids. Getting back on track during the second half Gray fought hard and paced herself well; with help from bystanders handing out lollies she finished in 6:43:16.