Club Chairman Sandwiched by Debutants
In recent weeks three members of Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club have been out competing in various marathons around the UK and Europe.
First up, on the 27th September, was Joby Hobbs competing in the New Forest marathon. This was his first attempt at the 26.2 mile distance, although he did complete a three day run along the 87 mile Kennet & Avon canal back in April, so he knew the pain involved.
Having barely trained at all in the previous six weeks due to a nagging knee injury, Joby ignored the usual advice and took to the country roads of Hampshire despite the dodgy knee. In a remarkable performance considering the situation and a tough course saw him complete the route in three hours and nine minutes, giving him a very respectable time and a good target for the next time he considers the longest Olympic distance.
Following Joby, a week later was the athletic club’s chairman, Jon Hull who took on the equivalent of 105 laps of a running track. Jon made a slightly longer trip over the channel to Cologne in Germany for their annual event. In a somewhat larger field of over 6000 runners Jon achieved a respectable time of 3:54. Although it wasn’t quite what he’d hoped for as an experienced marathon runner, he still had the stamina for the 420 mile drive back on the Monday, when most people can barely get out of bed.
Finally, last weekend Amy Inchley completed the sandwich and made her marathon debut in the most local race of the three, down in the Oxfordshire town of Abingdon. On a very cold Sunday morning Amy found herself running around some picturesque countryside with a whole squadron of supporters cheering her around nearly every mile. Having trained hard for last years’ Luton marathon, which was cancelled on the day due to a minor car accident, she had waited ten months for the opportunity to repay her charitable sponsors from the previous December. As a result, a tremendously determined run saw her cross the finish line in a very respectable four hours and seven minutes and a day later she is talking about the next one breaking the four hour barrier
All three marathoners had very different stories to tell at the end of their races, but despite the damaged legs, black toenails and challenges with stairs, they all agree that there is very little that beats the satisfaction of crossing the finish line and knowing it’s over.
Whilst Joby, Jon and Amy have been preparing very hard for their respective marathons, Fiona Towell has been training similarly hard for the Royal Parks half marathon which took place last week. Having made a couple of previous attempts to duck under two hours and just missed, this time around Fiona smashed through the barrier in a time of 1:57. The question now is what could possibly be next?