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It was the famous writer, Samuel Johnson who said in the 18th Century ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.’ If he were alive today Mr Johnson would have looked down on the scenes presented by the 39th running of the London Marathon and found that statement to have been as true today as it was some 240 or so years ago. 

The London Marathon certainly presents a complete cross section of humanity amongst the 40,000 plus runners who started out from Blackheath to complete the classic 26.2 mile journey to finish on The Mall. Other marathons may be more scenic, less crowded, too loud for some but for many marathon runners it is ‘the one’ that must be done at least once and it is as Tina Turner sang, ‘Simply The Best’ marathon in the world

Brendan Foster, the commentator once famously said that everybody competing in London has a story and that was certainly true of the 22 D&T runners who ran in this years event. Some, such as Alex Couronne and Casper Du Buisson were finally getting to run the race after suffering umpteen rejections in the public ballot whilst Michael Lamb was running after generously sacrificing his club place last year to allow others to enjoy the experience that is the London Marathon. 

Others such as Kate Rennie and Hannah Bennett were making it to the start line for the first time after enduring the heartache of having to withdraw from previous races due to injury. More still such as Kelly Du Buisson, Chris Kitchener and Gary Sturdy were running their second marathon in two weeks whilst others such as Andy Guilder and Neal Ashton were running their first. And yet more were running for many worthy charities or had their eyes on fast times. 

With so many people running it would be invidious to pick out a few, but it would also be impossible to mention everyone but there are some performances worthy of highlighting. First and foremost was Kate Rennie who is one of those who has been firmly in the heartache camp. She banished the demons of the previous years with a super run to clock a new club record of 2.57.28 which now means that the club boasts two sub 3 hour ladies in it’s ranks in the space of three weeks. 

Speaking of sub-3 hours, the men were not to be outdone with Andy Cracknell reeling off a solid 2.45, close behind was Jamie Marlow who showed himself back to his best with a new pb of 2.47 and Phil Oddy running 2.54. Not far behind was Chris Marriott who battled illness to run a very courageous 3.03.

Despite such a high number of runners, only Andy Guilder and Neal Ashton were running their first ever marathon. Andy afterwards said he worked hard to complete the first ‘and only’ marathon of his career. Others such as Celia Findlay were into their 100th and something race. 

Hannah Bennett too laid the ghosts to rest of the past two years where she has had an accident or injury which has prevented her from taking her place on the start line. Hannah ran a terrific time of 3.14 which was 5 minutes outside her best but in the circumstances she wasn’t worried about the time, more the thought of getting a London Marathon medal that was important to her. 

The list is endless and all those purple people who took part acquitted themselves with distinction. A full list of those who took part and their times are shown below. It would be remiss for there not to be mention of the Purple people who came out in droves to support their clubmates. On behalf of the runners, a huge thank you for all your support. You were awesome. 

Below is that list (in alphabetical order) and for those that might be tempted to find out if they are bored of life as Samuel Johnson would put it the ballot is already open for the 2020 event. Go on…. You know you want to. 

Kerry Ardley 3.19.00
Charlotte Ashton 3:58:04
Neal Ashton 3.26.44  
Hannah Bennett 3.14.14
Tim Boyall 4.18.31  
Alex Couronne 5:06:34
Andy Cracknell 2:45:33
Casper Du Buisson 4:34:38
Kelly Du Buisson, 3:14:06
Celia Findlay 3:39:19
Andy Guilder 5:44:55
Harry Gillan 3.54.18
Clare Halvey-Hunt 4:31:22
Chris Kitchener 3:31:16
Michael Lamb 4.12.44
Jamie Marlow 2:47:45
Chris Marriott 3:03:16
Phil Oddy 2:54:22
Jack Parslow 3:37:32
Kate Rennie 2:57:28
Gary Sturdy 5:00:13
James Twallin 3.25.01

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