After some pretty spectacular downpours during the week, Sunday’s weather was pretty kind to our runners and spectators at the annual street party that is the Ealing Half Marathon. A little rain at the start, a slight breeze, but it could have been s-o-o-o much worse!
There was the usual arrangement to meet in Lammas Park for a team photo at 8:15am, but that part didn’t all go to plan, Mark K reports. There was a club flag but no spike, so we had to improvise by tying it to a tree. In the end, not many people were there for the photo either. (We all know what it’s like right before a big race – not always top of your priorities!) Well done to those who made it.
Our first finisher this year was Oliver, who finished a fantastic fourth on his debut at this distance, while Jonathan was also in the top 10, albeit some way outside his PB set at the Hillingdon Half in the Spring. V60 Ian also distinguished himself by being third in his age category.
Mark D was our first veteran. Having done more training than usual, he had expected a better time, despite some back issues (“but I lined up so no excuses”). His frame of mind wasn’t improved by running for some miles alongside a female runner who was carrying a phone: “I swear she actually texted around 8 miles in”.
While Mark is hugely experienced at these longer races, this was Sean’s first EHM and only his second half marathon since joining the club a year ago. Part of him was hoping for a PB, but he’d also heard about the hilly nature of the course, and hadn’t managed a recce run during his preparations. He also had quite painful memories from his first half at Harrow last year (“started seeing lights on the last hill”). As it turned out, he felt quite comfortable for most of this one, though the last lap around Lammas Park was very tough: “the finish line seemed to be getting further and further away with every stride”. He did eventually get that PB…by 12 minutes!
While Mark D claimed to be oblivious to the support around the course (“the crowds in Doha would be fine for me, as I’m in another world”), Sean really appreciated “the absolutely fantastic support from ESM members. At nearly all the key points there were people cheering me on. The support was louder and more enthusiastic than I could have imagined. I found this experience to be scalp-tinglingly motivating and it really helped me to feel ‘pumped’ all the way through to the end. ESM = the best show in town!!!!” So well done ESM spectators (and I love that new word “scalp-tingling”). He also acknowledges the benefit of Lynn and Martin’s training sessions and “their encouragement in those cold dark winter nights up and down some of Ealing’s infamous hills”.
Mark K said his race started well. For the first seven miles, he stuck to the pace he needed for his target time of 1:30, but saw the 1:30 pace group go sailing past on the way back down Greenford Avenue. Rob Brown was there too and offered words of encouragement but to no avail. With the support from the crowd, the water stations and some welcome jelly babies offered by local kids lining the route, he struggled on to the end and was glad to finish and get his medal.
Sarah G was our first female, another one to gain a PB and, as she put it “finally laying my half marathon demons to rest”. You could be forgiven for not spotting her. She was – along with fellow Hanwell-ites Andy P and Bev – wearing a different vest in support of Hobbayne Primary School.
After a year of injury, Andy P was satisfied to make his way round “in a painful but injury-free 1:47”. Bev was in self-preservation mode due to injury, so she ran in support of other team members and really enjoyed the experience of taking part with her foot off the pedal. Andy adds that the PTA team consisted of “runners of all abilities, from grizzled veterans to people doing their first run over 5k. At last check they had raised just under £5000 which is a fantastic effort. It was a great day for so many new runners who never thought they could run 13.1 miles and I’m proud that ESM did their bit to promote running in our community. Some might be back next year!”
Sarah H thought the crowd support was better than ever this year. Another one to achieve a PB, she was delighted to finish sixth in her age category. She paid for her efforts with very tight calves and cramping feet in the latter stages of the race. Her description of the after-effects brought a smile to my face: “I’m taking comfort from the fact that I can just about make it down the stairs facing forward. After the marathon backwards was the only option!” An EHM ever-present, Sarah already has the 2020 race in her diary.
Thanks to everyone who contributed feedback for this report. Kevin Falvey made a rather special contribution to this year’s race, by winning the competition to design the medal – gaining a free race place in the process. It’s typically modest of Kevin that I doubt many club members were aware of it.
Meanwhile, two club members were over in Budapest, tackling the marathon in very warm conditions. V45 Bruce Li ran conservatively to protect a calf strain but still managed a very respectable 3:22:44. V55 Martin Daoud was not far behind in 3:24:43. Bruce found it a great experience, while Martin’s last sentence apparently was that he doesn’t want to do another marathon…
ESM results summary: (chip times, overall positions)
Men: 4 Oliver Way 73:09, 9 Jonathan Horan 76:30, 62 Mark Delahunty (V45) 83:07, 89 Colin Foster 85:03, 97 Sean Hanrahan 85:34, 204 Rob Brown (V50) 89:45, 283 Mark Kencroft (V50) 92:55, 304 An Other 93:12, 364 Alex Leslie 95:32, 385 Ian Leslie (V60) 96:13, 418 Kevin Falvey 96:40, 427 Akira Anzai-Jackson 97:13, 491 Wilton Grey (V60) 98:21, 1340 An Other 1:40:35, 850 Andy Leung (V45) 1:45:42, 969 Andy Price (V40) 1:47:20, 1152 Simon Turrell (V50) 1:49:25, 1164 Philip York (V55) 1:50:20, 1762 Tony Hursey (V50) 1:56:40, 2256 Chris Brown (V55) 2:01:54
Women: 313 Sarah Gerrie (V35) 93:49, 800 Olivia Howes Smith (V35) 1:44:27, 1553 Maria Hamilton (V35) 1:54:05, 1525 Megan Hubbard 1:54:20, 1915 Sarah Holroyd (V55) 1:57:31, 1866 Stacey McManus (V40) 1:58:11, 2142 Sophie Pesticcio (V45) 2:01:32, 2343 Annette Galloway (V45) 2:04:44, 2635 Sally Murnaghan (V50) 2:10:52, 2877 Amira Nuseibeh (U20) 2:13:08, 3018 Catherine Gunnewicht (V50) 2:13:19, 2880 Jennifer Jones (V50) 2:14:13, 3330 Beverley Packwood (V45) 2:19:38, 3464 Lindsay Donoghue (V50) 2:21:16
Well done to our second-claim members too: Ewan Fryatt (78:36) and V50 Andy Bowen (83:03).
Full results on runbritain. Any corrections or additions, please email Fiona at email@example.com.