Striders take on Paris

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RUNNERS from Stamford Striders are setting their sights on new personal bests at the Paris Marathon on Sunday.

Alan Hayes, 46, who’s been training around Uffington, Greatford, Essendine and Ryhall, is aiming to complete the flat, city course in under three hours.

Nick Wells, 46, started training before Christmas and uses the 22-mile route around Rutland Water as a preparation circuit. He said: “I’m looking to achieve a sub 3:15 marathon at Paris, but having completed Amsterdam in 2009 in 3:27, and Prague in 2010 in 3:26, quite an improvement’s needed.”

Robin Ball began running with the Striders beginners’ course two years ago, and is aiming for a sub-four hour time.

The club runner, who turns 58 today, said: “I hadn’t run since school when I joined the beginners’ course, but I lost a stone-and-a-half in the first six weeks and never looked back.

“Paris is my fourth marathon in a year, and it has become a major life challenge to nail the 4 hours – London 4:26, Edinburgh 4:07, Rutland Water 4:05 – I will nail it.”

Patrick McIntyre (31) jokes that he ‘must have been drunk’ when signing up with the others, although he’s also determined to complete the course in under 4 hours.

The team will join 40,000 runners at the Arc de Triomphe, before heading off down the Champs Elysées to take in landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral.