THE LONDON Marathon once again attracted thousands of runners from across the country and there were plenty of local runners who took to the streets of the capital and recorded some exceptional times.
Runners were met with clear skies following a spell of early morning rain but personal best times came hard to come by because the huge crowds made it difficult to get any sort of early running rhythm going at the 36th annual event.
Six runners from Leamington Cycling and Athletics Club (LCAC) lined up at the various start points and Eoin Flynn ran superbly to finish in exactly two hours and 45 minutes to claim 561st position.
Ben Rajan was the next LCAC runner home after going through the half-way point at 1:29.25 and he managed to speed up in the second half of the race to cross the finish line in two hours and 58 minutes to finish 1,704th.
Perhaps the most satisfied athlete of the day was Garrath Schule whose previous best time of 3:22.05 came in London two years ago but this time around she took a massive 20 minutes her time to finish in 3:02.57 (2,282).
Three ladies runners took on the London challenge with Natalie Bhangal recording huge personal bests over a wide range of distances in her marathon build up and at the half-way point she was on target to finish around the three hour mark.
But she suffered late on and slowed down to a new personal best time of 3:13.52 which was enough to secure 3,781 overall, 314th fastest lady and an automatic qualifying time for 2017.
A fine run by Anouk Molliexsaw her chop a huge four minutes off her previous best marathon time as he crossed the finish line as the 559th fastest lady in 3:21.50.
Working extremely hard in the closing stages Wendy Woodhouse saw her watch tantalysingly click over the four-hour barrier to record 4:00.07, but she was happy with another positive marathon performance.
A total of 19 Kenilworth Runners also travelled to the captital on Sunday and Stuart Hopkins was first home for the team 1,018th position in a time of 2:52.18.
He was followed by Matthew Kingston-Lee in 2:54.50 and 244th in his category and there was a three-way sprint between Martin Dorrill, Marc Curtis and Danielle Bryan racing for the line when they saw the clock was close to the magic three hour mark.
All three beat the three-hour target with Danielle (2:59.26) finishing 60th in her category, Martin’s time of 2:59.31 was enough to see him finish 246th in his category and Marc celebrated his birthday with a new personal best time of 2:59.36.
Elsewhere, Sean Mitchell was the first of three Kenilworth Runners to finish the Shakespeare Marathon on Sunday after completing the race in 3:17.55 to secure 35th position.
Mitchell was followed over the line by Chris Mayer (3:33.01) and Colin Bailey’s personal best time of 3:35.59 saw him finish 138th overall.
In the half marathon event, David Leadly was first of ten Kenilworth Runners home in 18th position in a time of 1:24.24 and he was followed by Jon Mettyear (1:27.50).