Report from Tom Lynch:
Stephen Boddy and I were lucky enough to be the recipients of the club places for the London Marathon, and coincidentally found ourselves on the same train heading to London on Saturday afternoon in the company of a large number of other local and not so local northern runners. After a quick catch-up on the train we had agreed to try to meet up on the morning for an ‘Otley AC at the marathon’ photo as we were in the same start area. In my nervous preparation on the day I had packed my phone in my kit bag and forgot to even check it, so I messed that one up, sorry 😀 !
Despite the number of people it’s a very slick operation, and I didn’t really find any problems getting into my start pen and storing my bag etc, other than the fact that they seemed to have used my hilly Halifax Marathon time for my predicted time, so I started, having targeted and trained for a sub 3hr time, in the pen behind the 3hr 45min pacers! The weather on the day was almost perfect for the marathon with patchy sun, lowish temperatures and minimal breeze, the start proceeded on time, and I crossed the start line after only a few minutes, but already with significant slower moving traffic that I was going to have to negotiate. With some prescient advice from Gilly on not panicking when stuck behind people in the first few km’s ringing in my ears, I took it easy and just try to navigate my way through the field while keeping up a reasonable pace. After a couple of km’s it got to the point where I could run more or less at my preferred pace, and I started to enjoy my first London marathon looking at the sights around me. I only managed to spot my mum and sister out on course, but I know the Harringtons were out at several places supporting. I felt comfortable for most of the race, remembering to eat and drink properly, with some new big toe blisters being my main concern, I tried to slowly bring myself back on to schedule. By 40km I knew I was definitely on for a few minutes sub 3hrs, and managed to hold my pace, with a small sprint finish up the mall.
Post race analysis via text with Stephen suggested he’d not had such an enjoyable race and was a bit disappointed, with bad cramping hampering at least the last 4/5 miles of his race, despite this he still managed to complete and PB and get under 3hrs 40 and beat his previous time set on the notoriously quick Edinburgh Marathon, although he had hoped and trained for significantly faster. Unfortunately for you all, in light of this, he suggested I write the report!
The winner of the race was Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya) in 2:05:48, the women’s winner was Mary Keitany (Kenya) in a women’s (only) WR of 2:17:01, Otley results: 1378th Tom Lynch 2:56:24, 8192nd Stephen Boddy 3:39:51 and 13630th Vicky Taylor 6:03:46