Stuart Fell ran as Elvis-pimp and, not surprisingly, found it a little hot along the way. ‘Once again, I hadn’t trained and decided to go out and have fund., he said.
‘Possibly a mistake wearing the pimp/Elvis outfit as it was blisteringly hot and I suffered in the heat, although I did have fantastic fun with the crowd, got on the telly and flew the flag for Jersey, literally,’ said Stuart, who finished in 5.14, around 1hr 20 min slower than his best.
That was not the point for him on the day, though. ‘You know what? I don’t care about the time as I had a great day and the medal to prove it!’
This was Pauline Alderman’s third London Marathon raising money for Jersey Variety and her eighth marathon. ‘I finished in 4.11.20 slightly slower than expected but only three weeks ago I completed the Paris Marathon in 4.04.20 which was a personal best so overall was pleased with both results. The London Marathon is a great experience as the crowds are really supportive all the way round.
It was definitely the hardest marathon for Richard Watts, who struggled in the heat and with blisters on his toes, but who still finished his third London Marathon in a time of 3.24.22.
‘All was going fantastic through 16 miles and then it felt like I had been hit with a shovel,’ he said.’ Miles 16 to 20 were a real battle but after a banana and some jelly babies off one of the spectators I managed to get some sort of rhythm back and finish in a time of 3.24.22 so all in all pretty happy.’
Paul Alker was a little disappointed with his time of 4.39, but it did not spoil his day.
‘The event has to be one of the best experiences I have encountered,’ he said. ‘The Variety team and other Jersey runners were great company, the crowds were fantastic and this, combined with the mixture of all runners, each running for their various causes, the physical and psychological challenge of running the marathon made for a euphoric experience.
I would recommend anyone to do this if they can. And yes, I will definitely want to do this again.’
Running his sixth marathon, Mario Pirozzolo discovered for the first time exactly what ‘the wall’ means. ‘It was my worst ever (just over five hours). I have never before experienced this “hitting the wall” everyone goes on about, although on Sunday I did. I became a lump of jelly. I think that was an amalgam of the heat and insufficient hydration. I soon picked up, although it was a sharp learning curve, and one should never underestimate body reaction to differing conditions.’
‘For a while, I ran with a soldier – he had one arm and an artificial leg and foot. He had lost both in an explosion in Afghanistan. That was all the motivation I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and crack on. It was a lovely day, and I was delighted to raise a little money for Variety Club.’
It was the second London Marathon for Sean Dorgan, who finished in 3.47.27, his best so far. ‘The watching crowds were unbelievable with the support they gave to the thousands of runners,’ he said. ‘The weather was great, although a bit to warm for some runners, with many needing help from emergency services towards the end.’
Annie Vaudin loved the whole experience and finished in 3.54 which was six and a half minutes quicker than her first marathon in Paris three weeks earlier. ‘I am well and truly hooked on marathons now and roll on the Jersey one in September,’ she said.
Lesley Noel, who finished in 4.42.21, was aiming for 4.20 as her best is 4.26, but the heat began to affect her between 14 and 18 miles. ‘When I got to mile 22, I hit that wall. It was at this point I started to experience problems with my breathing, the heat was unbearable for me,’ she said.
She walked and jogged to the end and was checked over by a member of St John Ambulance. ‘When I was in the tent, they were bringing people in that had collapsed through heat exhaustion. I had never seen anything like this before.’
Lesley much appreciated the support from the crowd and said she found the whole experience very moving. ‘I ran past a young gentleman who was running for the War Heroes Charity using a prosthetic metal spring leg and loads of people were running with pictures of loved ones that were no longer with them.’struggled with the heat and at one point thought that this was one marathon she would not finish. ‘The weather made it tough this year,’ she said. ‘But the crowd support was fantastic. Despite having to walk for quite a lot of the way, I did it in just over six hours.’
Anna Tredant struggled so much with the heat, she feared she might not finish. ‘The weather conditions made it very tough this year,’ she said. ‘But the crowd support was fantastic.’ She managed to finish in just over six hours.
Another team member Steve Miller ran with Dave Newman who was raising money for Jersey Mencap, with a donation also being made to Jersey Cancer Research.
‘The sunshine and heat made the conditions extremely warm and we both began to struggle between 14 and 20 miles,’ said Steve. Perseverance and gritted teeth got us over the finishing line in just over five hours.’
A lasting memory for them was an elderly man who got to the start line and found he had left his running shoes in his hotel and was forced to run the 26 miles in his Doc Martin shoes. ‘And there was us complaining about the heat!’
James Lambert said that he had a ‘personal worst’ at 4.45.10, largely because of a knee injury a fortnight before the event. ‘However, the good news was that I had a “personal best” for fund raising for Variety – £1,800 at the last count. Despite all the problems, it was a wonderful day, the weather was superb, the crowd support was magnificent, and as usual the atmosphere was quite amazing, ‘ he said. ‘Perhaps I will do it again after all!’
Also in the team were Angela Davey (4.25.32);Sally Clough (4.53.32) and St John’s School headteacher Andrew Willis (4.10.42).
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• These stories will be published in Friday’s Jersey Evening Post