Marathon effort produces medal bonanza

Stamford Striders - Vicky Old, Nick Wells, Stephen Park and Caroline Gasper.
Stamford Striders - Vicky Old, Nick Wells, Stephen Park and Caroline Gasper.

STAMFORD Striders were adorned with medals after sterling efforts in the London Marathon on Sunday.

The runners took part for a stack of different reasons and were rewarded for their weeks of training by fine weather and thousands in the cheering crowds.

Simon Fell finished in 3.08.48 despite a niggling knee injury and even ‘eased off’ to enjoy what was his sixth London Marathon.

He said: “Wow, what a day! The atmosphere was incredible and a definite must for any one who is a runner or jogger.

“The weather was pretty much perfect and London looked incredible.

“Because of my injury I set off fairly conservatively at 6.45 minute-mile pace and by 18 miles knew I wasn’t going to finish in under three hours, so I slowed and just enjoyed the experience.

“This was definitely the most enjoyable marathon I’ve done. A big thank you to all the support I received and well done to all the Striders – a fantastic effort by everyone.”

Stephen Parker was just a minute-and-a-bit behind, crossing the line in 3.10.07, while Nick Wells – celebrating his 48th birthday on marathon day – was next, racing to the finish in 3.37.11 to propose to his long-term girlfriend, Sarah Winspear.

First back for the Striders women was Debbie Fraser in 3.41.32, with Vicky Old following in 3.43.18.

Stamford’s Philippa Taylor, who runs for Stamford Striders and Nene Valley Harriers was among the fastest women in the Sunday’s race.

She finished the marathon in 2.51, just outside of her personal best of 2.49 but enough to for 4th in her age category and 19th overall female in only her second ever marathon.

Philippa’s training had included two 20 mile races, at Bedford and Finchley, which she won in March.

Full Stamford Strider results: Simon Fell 3.08.48; Stephen Parker 3.10.07; Nick Wells 3.37.11; Debbie Fraser 3.41.32; Vicky Old 3.43.18; Richard Rae 3.48.28; Caroline Gasper 3.49.13; Nikki Loomes 4.21.23; Matt Fairleigh 4.26.16; Cat Davison 4.33.58; David Babbs 4.43.41.