London Marathon: Lions roar in capital

Five of the Sowerby Bridge Snails are welcomed home after the London Marathon. Hannah Priestmas, Rick Ogilvie, Richard Smith, Stuart Pilling, El Ogilvie,
Five of the Sowerby Bridge Snails are welcomed home after the London Marathon. Hannah Priestmas, Rick Ogilvie, Richard Smith, Stuart Pilling, El Ogilvie,

It was a record-breaking London Marathon this year with more than 42,000 runners and Calderdale clubs were well represented.

The logistics are mind-boggling. There were more than 1,000 marshals needed at the start line alone!

Stainland Lions had 12 runners, Sowerby Bridge Snails eight, Halifax Harriers five, Northowram Pumas four and Queensbury RC had three.

Stephen Hall was the first Lion and took 12 minutes off his 2018 time while Simon Rawnsley bettered his effort of 12 months earlier by 23 minutes to set a new M50 club record by two seconds. Gerry Banham set a new M60 record.

Judith Greenwood set a new F70 club record. She was running her sixth marathon alongside the equally amazing Lesley Henderson, and both women could be spotted a mile off on the TV coverage with their bright pink hair.

Emma Forester Thompson and Wendy Paulson both ran personal bests and Andrew Falkingbridge carried club mascot Leo the Lion round.

Will Rushworth became the fourth member of his family to run a marathon after dad David, brother Cameron and mum Ginny.

First back for Halifax Harriers was Angela Clarke in a PB of 3:41:51. Also setting PBs were Martin Ellis in 4:28:53 and Samantha Layfield in 4:35:26. David Parrington finished in 4:34:03 and John Moore 4:54:58.

Four of the eight Snails were competing for the second year running. Current Snails champion Sean Suttle completed in 3:03:24 while Richard Smith and Gary Taylor came in under the four hour mark.

El Ogilvie and Nicki Paynter finished in 5:51 while Hannah Priestman, who had won the Snails ballot place, clocked 4:51. The other two Snails to complete were Stuart Pilling in 5:37 and Rick Ogilvie in 6:29.

Lions times: Stephen Hall 2:44:18, Jamie Westwood 2:54:00, Simon Rawnsley 3:02:13, Maria Harron 3:28:02, Emma Forester Thompson 3:32:23, Gerry Banham 3:37:31, Will Rushworth 3:43:19, Gail Schofield 4:28:50, Wendy Paulson 5:27:29, Leo the Lion assisted by Andrew Falkingbridge 5:28:20, Lesley Henderson 5:40:26, Judith Greenwood 5:42:48.

Queensbury RC times: Richard Newberry 3:24:40, Charlotte Charlesworth 5:16:48, Beverley Morritt 6:21:36.

Northowram Pumas times: Jude Roberts 3:28:26, Diane Cooper 3:56:50, Mark Whittaker 4:13:10, Philippa Denham 6:11:14.

Much nearer home was the Blackpool Marathon, a two lap course on the seafront.

Halifax Harriers had five runners. Peter Clegg 3:20:48 was first back for the club, closely followed by Will Stewart 3:21:30. Nigel Rigg had a solid run to finish in 3:42:50, whilst Niall Smith 3:50:24 and Nigel Taylor 3:58:01 both set PBs.

Two Lions competed. Gina Anderson-Keeble clocked 1:59:50 and Ally Audsley finished in 2:00:33.

Queensbury RC’s Wasim Hussain compleyed the Blackpool 10k in 43:59.