ll roads led to Manchester at the weekend as the spring marathon season got underway with one of the most popular city centre races outside of the capital. There were plenty of athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC running around Old Trafford, some taking on the full 26.2 distance but a large number also taking part in a 4-stage relay covering the same marathon distance.
Pravesh Patel was first home for the club finishing in 3.07.16 to take 1684th place, it was a disappointing performance as he was travelling well for some distance and ticking along nicely but admitted that the wheels came off later in the race. Dave Joynson put in another consistent performance and would have been first back for the club if the race had been a mile or two further, Dave finished in 3.08.03 in 1728th place. Garry Palmer, despite not having the ideal preparation, finished in an impressive 3.12.58 in 2066th and Gillian Mitchell took another step towards the completion of 200 marathons with another sterling effort finishing in 5.38.14 in 13253rd place.
Three teams from the club completed in the relay along with 177 other line-ups. First home were The Wannabees of Keith Carter, Phil Evans, Sophie Evans and Dave Newport who took 11th place in 3.17.00. The team with the title WAB Elite ironically were second team home for the club in 17th place, their line up Vicky Bryan, Sam Wells, Clive Ben Rawlings and Gaz Smith crossed the line in 3.25.03. And the Waifs & Strays of Will Hodgkiss, Dean Foster, Clive Barrett and Phil Evans (yes the same Phil Evans who ran a leg for The Wannabees) finished in 3.34.09.
There was some midweek action on Wednesday, the lighter nights lending themselves to further opportunities to pull on the vest. Louise Hackett set foot on the track at the Charnwood AC open meeting running in a 3000m race coming home in 3rd overall and 1st lady in a time of 9.49.40. And a small and very select group took a trip into the country for race one of the Hereford 5k series, Louie Lambeth finished in 10th overall and 1st U20 in 16.04, Dan Turner was 14th in 16.14, Sabrina Thomas was 3rd VF35 and 104th in 19.41 and Nick Beach smashed his PB by almost a minute coming home in 117th place in a time of 20.17.