On a warm sunny April day in London, 2 EUACers took to the roads for the Virgin London Marathon. The event doubles as the BUCS Marathon Championships and hopes were high for success!
Whilst Ollie lined up nervously alongside the likes of Mo Farah in the elite start, Joe Perkins (the veteran marathoner having run 6 previously) casually made his way to the Good for Age start. Within just 3 miles the different starts combined, but whilst Ollie had hared off with the leaders laying down 5:40s for the first miles, Joe had taken life more leisurely- wisely laying down just 5:55. This gap in splits remained for most of the first 20 miles of the course as the runners wound their way past landmarks such as the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.
At the 20 mile point disaster struck for Ollie as his knee buckled, proving to be a painful recurrence of an injury from a fortnight before. The pace dropped considerably to 7:45/mile, and despite the encouraging cheers from the likes of Vicky Budd and Steph McCall the pain was too much- clocking well over 45 minutes for the final 10K. Meanwhile the experience of Joe Perkins shone through as his pace barely fell away at all, catching Ollie with every step.
The gap (at one point, over a mile) fell to within a few metres as the finish line on the Mall approached, and Joe burst passed a incredibly tired and decrepit Ollie as they neared the line. Both athletes clocked 2:47 meaning 2 PBs, although both left the race thinking of what could have been.
Both Mo (2:08) and Ollie (2:47) had been targeting records of one kind or another, but today was not the day for the new kids on the block! Both the British Record of Steve Jones and the EUAC record of Pete Hammond live to fight another day!