Virtual Runs abound as St Albans Striders take on the 40th London Marathon

The London Marathon was “Elite only” on Sunday, but St Albans Striders were running marathons anyway.

Dorney Lake Marathon near Windsor was a 4-lap marathon near Windsor run on private land and organised by local race organiser James Shipley to be compliant with Covid guidelines. Several Striders took part. Matt Cooper battled the blustery conditions to cruise home in an impressive 2:45:24. Sebastian Rowe was not too far behind in 3:11:21 with Phill Brindle, 3:27, Donna Irwin 4:03 and Peter Blessing 4:06 making the most of the now rare opportunity to run a marathon.

Without the mass participation London Marathon, Virtual London Marathon runners ran their own route in the rain – the Alban Way was almost literally awash with runners sporting their London Marathon numbers; a long and deep water hazard at Smallford did not stop them.

Andrew McKillop ducked under 3 hours with 2:56:57. Steve Bowran was aiming for 3:15 so surprised himself with 3:00:31. Kate Dixon clocked 3:24, with Lucy Jones close behind in 3:29. Jonathan Bird had a minute of fame on BBC, as his Lewisham Hospital team set off on their virtual marathon run. Laurance Dine chose a multi-lap route around Ellenbrook Fields finishing in 4:38.

On Saturday the Chiltern Ridge Ultra Trail 50KM from Wendover to Ivinghoe Beacon and back saw Joe Weghofer finish an impressive 5th in 4:23, less than 10 minutes behind the leader. Ruth Martin finished 5th lady in 5:39.

Report by Colin Braybrook

Photos by Ruth Kent and Graham Smith

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