Weekend round-up on the roads – Paris/Berlin/London & more – Sun 08 Apr 2018

ESM roadrunners were spread far and wide this weekend, so here’s a round-up of who was racing where…


Andy Leung reports first from Paris: What a wonderful weekend spent with a bunch of lovely people, doing the stuff we like… drinking, sightseeing, eating and a little bit of running. I would say it’s my best marathon experience so far, due to the people I was with! Lot of laughs and banter, and not bad living together for couple of days.

The Paris Marathon was great and big in numbers, but not a patch on London in regards to organization.

Bev ran the whole way with Cath

Good points include: plenty of Portaloos – there were even urinals in the pens, (very handy for an old man like me). To minimize bottles of water and fruit being discarded, they had recycling bins throughout the course – the bottle bins had a target at the back of bin for you to aim at. And despite the numbers, everyone had a clear run, Paris is huge!

Not so good: seeing runners trying to negotiate their way from the baggage drop to the Start through the cars around the Arc de Triomphe, and the free-for-all getting into pens, with no checks at all. In terms of support, definitely no match on London again. The Brits are great on this front through the 26.2! Oh, and I don’t like the £10 for a less than a pint of beer either.

But on balance, great memories especially with the ESM crew!

Bev and Cath had always planned to run together, adds Fiona Kennedy, and they managed to clock exactly the same time. With Cath incurring a knee injury a couple of weeks ago, they adopted a run-walk strategy from the outset, which proved a wise choice. Cath was raising money for Breast Cancer Haven – don’t forget she has a Bake Sale at the track this Saturday afternoon during the SAL match, and the ESM Quiz Night is fast approaching on June 14th, so get your tickets if you haven’t already.

You may think Aneta had run with them, given her time was so similar. Sadly, that wasn’t the reason; despite training well through the winter, she was out of sorts on the day, feeling light-headed, and was also reduced to a run-walk just to get round.

They couldn’t resist the opportunity to run at the Bois de Boulogne parkrun the day before, either!

ESM & friends on tour at Bois de Boulogne parkrun: Vincent (Metros), Cath, Claire, Aneta, Andy, Bev, Frances (Serpentine) & Bruce

ESM results:

Bruce Li 3:35:41; Andy Leung 4:05:03; Aneta Neumann 4:39:57; Beverley Packwood 4:40:06; Catherine Gunnewicht 4:40:06


Pete in the finish funnel at the Berlin Half

While all that was going on, Pete Flewitt, Annette Galloway and Marie de Greef were over in Berlin, taking part in the Berlin Half (along with 712 other Brits apparently).

They all found the conditions warm. Pete was pleased with his 1:22 effort, having had to pull out of the Big Half in March due to a chest infection. Marie enjoyed the scenic course which took in all the city’s famous landmarks.

ESM results:

Peter Flewitt 1:22:42; Annette Galloway 2:01:45; Marie de Greef 2:04:00

Marie and Annette show off their medals










An impressive sub-3 PB for Jonathan Horan in Manchester, with his 2:52:43 clocking.

He modestly ascribes it to “perfect weather and course”, but he’s been showing great form both in training and in racing, so we think that might have played a big part too!

Jonathan savours his sub-3 PB



Martin & Mark show off their medals after the Grand Union Canal Half

Closer to home, and Mark Kencroft and Martin Daoud tackled the Grand Union Canal Half. Martin sums it up as follows: “A lovely morning running along the Grand Union from Cowley, Uxbridge to Cassiobury Park, Watford. The route was very scenic and tranquil, taking in some lovely views along the way, going through Denham and Rickmansworth. The Narrow Boat fraternity along the route were friendly enough. Purple Patch organized the race very well and it was attended by marshals who cheered us on all the way to the finish. It was great meeting up with Mark Kencroft who gave me some good advice on how to tackle the course”.

They both said they would run this race again.

ESM results:

Mark Kencroft 1:41:34; Martin Daoud 1:45:37


Four ESM members opted for another waterside race along the Thames. Mary Walsh has run plenty of 10-mile races, including this very one at least twice before. As she points out, it’s a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it event, but she’s definitely in the former camp.

Simon was aiming for sub-80 as part of his  build-up to the Abingdon Marathon in October – another one Mary has run, so she was able to give him the lowdown on that. Simon returned the favour, by giving Mary a good cheer towards the end of her race – having by then got well inside his target time.

Denise had a milestone birthday recently and had set herself this 10 miler as one of her goals for the year – her first long distance race since 2005. She was very pleased with how it went and will be setting herself further goals over some shorter distances.

ESM results:

Simon Turrell 1:18:54; Mary Walsh 1:24:03; Bhupinder Gill 1:35:35; Denise English 1:42:02

Well done one and all.