Marathon effort Robin!

ILFORD AC runners were out in force in Sunday s 29th London Marathon, won by Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru. Robin McNelis was the pick of the Cricklefields contingent, blasting home in a new personal best of 2:51.01 while also improving their previous be

ILFORD AC runners were out in force in Sunday's 29th London Marathon, won by Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru.

Robin McNelis was the pick of the Cricklefields contingent, blasting home in a new personal best of 2:51.01 while also improving their previous best times were Ian Burdin with 3:33.23 and Tony Partridge in 3;37.47.

Bhagesh Katechia clocked a very good 3:38.08, ahead of Peter Spelman who found the warm weather not to his liking and was disappointed with his 3:56.36.

Rohan Alexander was next in with 4:02.02, followed by Jon Masterson with 4:16.03 and Chris Evans with 4:35.06. Vinesh Kumar and Steve Port both both made their debut at the distance and recorded 5:18.40 and 7:03.02 respectively.


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Character and marathon regular Dave Sharpe pounded out 5:35.01 in race walking mode to raise a considerable sum for Cancer Research.

Bree Nordin (pictured below left) led the women home despite having to stop several times to stretch out from cramp from mile 19 onwards, forcing her to ease down in the latter stages of the race.

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Vanessa Burns cruised through only her second marathon, clocking an excellent 3:49.04, a time which obliterated her previous effort. Sally Gillam managed 4:10.43 despite some difficulties in her preparation.

The Women's elite race was won by Irina Mikitenko, who became the first woman since Paula Radcliffe in 2003 to retain her London Marathon crown.

Helping to hydrate over 35,000 runners on Ilford's water station at the 19-mile point in Canary Wharf, Ilford's Steve Parker took a welcome rest having run extremely well in the Boston Marathon the previous week.

Parker reported that he was very pleased with his 3:22.11 over the hills of Massachusetts.

Earlier in the day, the club's juniors had performed well in the accompanying mini marathon held on a three-mile course starting at Old Billingsgate and finishing in the Mall.

Alex Richards posted the fastest Ilford time of the day, finishing the course in 18.21 which placed him 127th in the 15-17 age group.

Other times and positions were Dean Ulla in 18.42 (79th in 13-14B), Thomas King in 19.06 (31st in 11-12B), Jack Webb in 19.10 (156th in 15-17B), George Hadler in 21.05 (185th in 13-14B), Laura Swords in 22.36 (92nd in 13-14G) and Lydia Hall in 24.18 (144th in 15-17G).

Malcolm Muir finished fifth at the Serpentine 5k in a time of 16.24, just pipping Springfield rival Mark Crook on the finish line in warm but breezy conditions.

John Batchelor was rather disappointed with his run, with tiredness from recent hard training very evident in the legs.

Batchelor placed 60th in 19.19 and only after blazing the last 200m was he able to close a 40m gap and out-dip Giorgio Bianchi, a 65-year-old Italian guest runner who threatened to deprive him of the age-group win.

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