With the spring marathon season in full swing eleven ORCs took to the streets of London to run the premier marathon in the world. For some who had qualified with Good for Age places several times before, this was now a very familiar route, but for most of the club’s runners this was not only their first London marathon, but their first attempt at running 26.2 miles. Only two members got a place through the ballot, the rest either taking one of the two club entries or a charity place. The weather on the day turned out to be better than forecast with the early rain clearing to give welcome spring sunshine. This however did not affect the temperature which remained more akin to winter but at least without the promised snow. All the runners not only completed but put in great performances making all the hours spent training worthwhile. The first-timers all trained together becoming a close-knit group, giving each other support and encouragement, and they all took the opportunity to raise some money for charity.
For Roger Voaden, back on form and at 50 years old running his fiftieth marathon, everything went exactly to plan and he ran the perfect race, coming home in a hugely impressive 2.55.53. Paul Carter, also on a Good for Age place, ran a great race too, improving on his last London time by 13 minutes to finish in 3.08.50. Dave Mugliston also had a good run and was pleased to finish his best London marathon in 3.44.21, although knowing he could have been faster but for a calf problem from mile eleven. Emma Sizmur, (supporting Bliss the premature baby charity) was the first lady ORC to finish and had a great race, getting faster as the race went on. She finished with a terrific PB of 3.47.07 having raised a phenomenal £7,000 for the charity. Lucy Marrison, running her second marathon, also ran a massive PB, knocking over 32 minutes off her previous best with a time of 4.20.39. The first-timers all did incredibly well, enjoying the special atmosphere of the London Marathon and all putting up very creditable performances. Spread out across the various starts, two of them, Jackie Dawes and Claire Stanbury, managed to meet up within the last mile and crossed the line together, an amazing coincidence amongst the 38,000 runners. Jackie (supporting The Family Holiday Association) surpassed her expectations and had a great marathon debut to finish in 4.19.27, while Claire (supporting Exeter Leukaemia Fund) also finished in under her target 4hr 30min with a good time of 4.27.23. Training partners Lucy Brint and Emma Kelleher weren’t far apart either with Lucy (supporting The Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of her father) coming in at 4.50.16 after enjoying every minute of her run. Emma (also supporting The Family Holiday Association) finished in 5.04.28, having started right at the very back of the red start which meant she had to do a great deal of over-taking. Claire Sprague (supporting Cancer Research) and Angela Hatten (supporting Clic Sargent) finished in 5.04.03 and 6.20.34, both overjoyed to have completed something neither of them ever thought they would. The total raised by the runners is currently over £15,000 with more money still coming in and the club is very proud of all of their achievements.