If Mo Farah was disappointed with his London Marathon debut (and he shouldn’t be) there was no such dismay in the ranks of Gala Harriers who sent down six club runners to the sun-soaked streets to participate along with 36,000 others in arguably the world’s best 26.2-mile event.
While Mo found the Kenyan dominance too hot to handle, Jenny Forbes, selected to contest the ladies’ championship event, crossed the finish line in a cracking personal best of 3 hours 2 minutes and 45 seconds and was the 15th woman in her age category.
Completing the first 13.1 miles in 1.30.12, Jenny would’ve had to have run the second half slightly quicker than the first to get under the famous three-hour mark – but she came tantalisingly close with her nonetheless excellent time. Steve Martin had a superb run in 3.10.15, while Dave Nightingale, a veteran of the event, posted an impressive 3.21.06. Marcus Naylor ran well in 3.46.52 to just beat former Harrier Carole Fortune (3.47.51), while club president Gerry Moss was pleased with his solid run which saw him just squeak under the four-hour mark in 3.59.51. Sheila MacNab, disappointed last year not to be able to compete due to illness, made it this year in 4.19.36.
And pre-empting the London event, Dawn Grant decided to become Dawn French for the day when she competed last week in the Paris Marathon. Finding the race organisation, entertainment en route and fine weather very much to her taste, Dawn broke her previous PB by more than eight minutes to scamper across the finish line in trois heures 50 minutes et 27 secondes. Formidable.