It may have been the hottest London Marathon on record, but Strider Josh Nisbett managed to hold his cool and beat his target time of 3 hours 30 minutes.
Despite the mercury rising to an unseasonably warm temperature of 23 degrees, Josh also managed to smash his previous personal best by more than 51 minutes.
Having slightly overachieved on his splits in the first three miles of the race, Josh settled into a steady, consistent pace from mile five to mile 19. By mile 20, he had speeded up by a minute each mile.
Josh had followed the race director’s advice to ‘sip and tip’ water throughout the duration of the race and use the showers provided. He had also seen a number of runners collapse on the 26.2 mile route due to the effects of the heat, making him even more aware of the warm conditions.
He said: “From 22 miles onwards, I started to feel the heat – it was the hottest marathon on record at 23°C. No amount of water being taken on, poured over my head or shaded tunnels seemed to cool me down, and my pace inevitably slowed. This was frustrating as aerobically I felt fine, I was just overheating.”
Josh doubled down and focused on running his own race in his bid to beat his target time: “I knew my first half was strong coming in under target at 1:42, so I had a little buffer to play with. Running the last mile past Big Ben and Buckingham Palace I took in the sights, atmosphere and the amazing support from the crowds. Sure enough, my earlier pace was enough to see me beat my target time of under 3 hours 30 minutes, coming in 3 hours 28 minutes and 54 seconds. All in all, I knocked 51 minutes and 15 seconds off my PB, which in those conditions I was very happy about.”
Phil Carr also completed the London Marathon in 3:38:31.
The Brighton Marathon Weekend once again proved a popular draw for Seaford Striders with 16 club members joining nearly 18,000 runners for the Brighton Marathon and BM10k.
Striders also joined the 150,000-strong crowd of spectators in near perfect spring weather conditions to cheer on their team mates, giving them plenty of encouragement and support on their way to the finish line.
In the Marathon, Josh Rudd attacked the distance in his usual style, beating his 2017 time by nearly two minutes in 2:55:48, finishing the race in 74th place. Dave Dunstall came in next in 3:15:28. He was followed by Phil Robinson in 03:51:27 with Ben Shorer close behind at 03:51:59, knocking a massive 1hr 14 minutes off his previous personal best (PB) time.
Next, it was the turn of the ladies with Emily Eaton crossing the line in 4:03:02, closely followed by Anneka Redley in 04:04:25 and Amanda Feast in 04:37:20. Richard Honeyman completed the race for the Striders in 04:38:15.
Striders running in the BM10k returned home with a clutch of personal bests. Nick Farley came home first with a PB of 40:40, followed by Ben Barnett in 43:15. Jazz Shiret completed the race in 55:00, followed by Abigail Grundy with a PB of 56:21 and closely followed by Michael Pickering in 56:49. Michelle Varndell, held back by a calf injury, was pleased to finish the race in 58:17, she was followed by Debbie Plant in 59:57 and Becky Souissi with a PB of 01:05:35.
Striders also demonstrated their team spirit from the sidelines. Those competing were cheered on with enthusiastic shout outs from Ju Taylor and Trev Jones as they reached Ovingdean, with Victoria Maleski helping marshal nearby at Blind Veterans UK. Andy Farley and Tom Roper took on race support roles at a water station and within the medical centre.