What an absolutely fantastic day we had at the 2018 Manchester Marathon! Conditions were perfect for running; we had twelve marathoners taking part, with eight achieving personal best times and five bettering the "Boston qualifying" standard!
It was great to see so many of our runners working together to achieve their times on the day, bringing months of hard training to a fantastic conclusion!
The crowds at Manchester were also fantastic - everyone out on the course was super supportive and the ready availability of Jelly Babies probably shaved a good few minutes off our times!
Who was running?
Craig Jones - 2:40:31 (PB, BQ, UK Championship)
Craig has worked hard for years to go under 2:45, but he has been frustrated by hot and humid conditions at the Paris, Budapest, Boston and Chicago marathons. Manchester finally provided Craig with the opportunity to run the kind of time that we all knew he could... and boy did he deliver!
Craig knocked over nine minutes off his previous personal best to come home in 41st place in the awesome time of 2:40:31, which will qualify Craig for Championship entry into the London Marathon.
Well done, Craig! You've really earned this one - we're all made up for you!
Mark Griffiths - 3:09:08
Mark hasn't been able to dedicate as much time to his marathon training as he has in the past (see below!), but it hasn't stopped him putting in a typically strong performance here, along with the now traditional "negative split" to get home in 3:09:08. Mark's fastest mile was the last one... perhaps it was no coincidence with Nicola and Ben there to cheer him home!
Josh Makin - 3:11:11 (PB)
Josh joined the club a six months ago after making a move up the M62 and his running has gone from strength-to-strength! Josh has followed up a big PB in last October's half-marathon with a monster PB in the marathon... Josh's time of 3:11:11 is a mere hour and ten minutes faster than his previous best!
Awesome work, Josh!
Martin Rimmer - 3:15:02 (PB)
Joseph Hayes - 3:22:52 (PB)
Martin and Joseph both joined the club back in October after hearing about us at parkrun and coming along to our New Runners Night. Martin, Joseph and Josh have all been training together and putting in a lot of miles in preparation for the Manchester Marathon - and that hard work has paid off with some cracking times! Martin was able to stick with the pacer to come home in 3:15:02; Joseph started to struggle in the last few miles of the race, but toughed it out to make it back in 3:22:52. Two phenomenal performances for a marathon debut!
Chris March - 3:17:00
Chris has been struggling of late with injury, illness and snow; with little training under his belt, he came into this race with firm expectations of a "personal worst". Happily, it all went rather well on the day, with a time of 3:17:00 - more than five minutes ahead of being a "PW"!
Anne Williams - 3:29:49 (BQ)
Anne joined us last year after seeing us in action at our track training sessions. Anne held on to Hannah, Sarah and Heather throughout the race to record a cracking time of 3:29:49 - coming home as the 13th V45 female and some 25 minutes inside the Boston qualifying standard for her age! In fact, she was too fast for our supporters to get a good photo! (Sorry Anne!)
Hannah Brierley - 3:29:56 (PB, BQ)
After missing out on doing a marathon last year due to injury, Hannah came back determined to record an official personal best time at Manchester after having had her 2015 efforts ruled out for being on a slightly short course. Everything went to plan - 3:29:56 is Hannah's new official PB, and five minutes ahead of the Boston qualifying time too!
Great stuff, Hannah!
Sarah Crandon - 3:30:06 (PB, BQ)
Heather Hughes - 3:33:10 (PB, BQ)
Sarah has been training hard this year for Manchester with the aim of getting 3:30 and her second Boston qualifying time. Sarah had an injury scare a few weeks before the race, but it all went swimmingly on the day: 3:30:06, a PB by over four minutes and well inside the Boston qualifying threshold! Fantastic, Sarah!
Heather put in a cracking performance to stick with Anne, Hannah and Sarah for most of the race, despite it being her first ever road marathon! Heather finished in a Boston-qualifying time of 3:33:10 - not bad for a first attempt!
Peter Flew - 3:44:39
Unfortunately, unlike most of our other runners at Manchester, Peter's race didn't go to plan. Having set off with the ambition of going under 3:00, the wheels came off around mile 12 and Peter was at the point of pulling out. Having been given a pep talk from partner Giorgio, Peter and battled through the remaining 14 miles to record a very respectable time of 3:44:39.
Jenny Gorman - 3:59:25 (PB)
Jenny ran the Manchester Marathon along with her sister Ruth to raise money for The Christie Hospital. In her first ever marathon, Jenny ducked under the four-hour mark to get home in 3:59:25 - great work!
You can support The Christie Hospital by sponsoring Jenny and Ruth on their JustGiving page.
Who was supporting?
We had some fantastic support out on the course!
Emma, Jen, Richard and Nicola were on hand at the start of the finishing straight to roar us all up towards the finishing line...
... along with young Ben, keeping an eagle-eye out for his dad, Mark!
We had Neil and Christine out at Dane Road, Richard at Brooklands, Tony and Gail in Timperley (chasing people on their bikes!), Steph and Simon where it starts to get tough at mile 19, Zulma in no man's land at mile 21, Emma at Stretford, Jane on the finishing straight... brilliant! Thanks so much for your support! (And sorry if I've missed anyone!)
Thanks also to all friends and family out supporting; particular mention goes to Ron, Viv, Paul, Clare and all the Jones clan, who were out in numbers to cheer their boy home to his stunning PB (and then to celebrate late into the night afterwards)!
A special mention must go to Zulma's daughter Famke, just five years old, who clocked 12 minutes in the Family Mile - an amazing time! One for the future, here...!
Great day, great attitude!
Finally, I just wanted to share this message we received from Tom who runs with the Manchester Frontrunners:
What an awesome day!
Well done, everyone!