The Club were represented by 16 (first claim) runners at the 2023 TCS London Marathon, with all starters also finishing the race!
Two of our best athletes in Andrea Clement and Blair Wilson, who had both achieved Championship qualifying, were unfortunately unable to take their place at the start line due to achilles injuries – a real shame as we were expecting great things from them – all the best to them both for a speedy recovery and we hope to see them training and racing for the Club again soon.
First mention should go to our three ladies – Carole Coulon who set a new W45 Club record that had stood for some 30 odd years with her 2:55:13 PB – a tremendous run and many Congratulations! Ashley Pearson ran a brilliant 3:05:49 PB in her third London Marathon and first for the Club. Many thanks to Ashley too for her hard work and time spent training our junior athletes. And last but not least a newer member Rita ran her first marathon in 4:33 – she’d not run more than 10k a couple of times before training for London so well done on running and completing your first marathon!
Onto the men, led home by Micah Evans with a new PB and first time sub 2:40 in 2:38:34, Robert Perry with an excellent 2:40:15, so close to sub 2:40 in a new PB, Fintan Parkinson in 2:41:19 and on course for sub 2:40 until an existing hip problem flared up in the last few miles.
Alex Gibbins was next home in his 375th London Marathon in a comfortable 2:45:47, Fadie Shamoon with a strong run in 2:51:23, Steve Hough with a cracking PB of 2:52:34 beating his previous best from 15+ years ago in his first marathon in New York and Greg Firth with a storming run in a big new first official sub 3 hour PB of 2:53:31 – an emotional finish with his wife and children arriving just in time to cheer him on at the end!
Martin Richardson was our next finisher in 2:54:48, also a PB, though he was another afflicted with a hip issue after setting out strongly, so more to come from him.
Next up was Steve Evenden with a brilliantly paced new PB in 3:07:56, Francois Berrier in a solid 3:23:10, Martin Parkinson in a good effort of 3:23:27, another who had struggled with injury in his marathon training, Born Barikor in 3:41:21 and George Collins who very much enjoyed his first marathon experience running, high-fiving, eating and drinking his way around London in 5:04:54, following in the footsteps of his Mum and Grandmother both of whom are also London Marathon finishers!
In addition to all the above, mentions to second claim members Dylan Mitchard (Belgrave) with a brilliant new PB of 2:36:57, proof that hard work and strong training pays off and Kevin Fini (Harrow) in 2:47:42 – both guys have joined second claim over the past year and run XC for the Club and are great guys to train with. Also second claim Eiko Kobayashi finished in a fantastic 3.22.24 leveraging all the long Sunday runs with the club. Congrats to you all.
Last but not least, two fantastic Elite athletes who grew up at Blackheath & Bromley and are still second claim members – Phil Sesseman was the second Brit home in 8th place in the Elite race in a new PB of 2:10:23 and Ross Braden in 16th place with 2:15:47 – inspiration for us as well as all the younger athletes at the Club.
Another great London Marathon experience – thanks so much to everyone from the Club (including Dina Asher-Smith and her Mum!) for their amazing support on the course, with what seemed to be cheering every few miles, as well as our families, training partners and friends for all their encouragement and support, without which we wouldn’t have been able to train and race – thank you all!