Week Ending - 2021/10/03


The London Marathon is undoubtedly the showpiece event of the road running calendar and with the mass participation element restored for 2021, there were plenty of wonderful achievements from the seventeen Badgers in action on the day as well as in other marathons in Chester and Dorney Lake on the same day. Two club records fell and there was a slew of personal bests as well as countless pounds raised for good causes.

First back in a quite breath-taking time of 2:48:39 was Glyn Broadhurst who bettered his own vets club record and personal best. By any measure, the Wood End man has had a phenomenal season, recording personal bests over four different distances from 5K upwards and such was the nature of his aggressive start to the marathon, he had eclipsed his own half marathon personal best at the halfway stage! As is often the case with the 26.2-mile distance, the final few miles were a grim affair but few at Badgers have a better engine than the 45-year-old who dug deep to hang on until The Mall. He was the most consistent performer in the Endure 24 team that finished second at Henley on Thames in July and only last week took 2nd place in the V45 standings in the Leicestershire Road Running League 2021 season.

Fellow Endure teammate Dave Hill ran his second sub three time of 2021, only weeks after returning from the Nice Ironman. His 2:57:03 was 15 minutes off his very best but still a quality time from a top-quality athlete. Up until Sunday, he was one of just five current Badgers to have achieved the sub-three milestone but over at Dorney Lake, Mark Repton increased that number to six with a magnificent 2:57:05. Repton had less weaving to encounter than in the capital but equally far less support than on the London course and his time is a lasting reminder to what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. The Dosthill based dad of two ran a superbly executed race with enough time in the bank to afford a slight drop in pace over the final few kilometres, in order to achieve his long-held ambition. His time represented a personal best by some fifteen minutes from his London time in 2019. To have one runner attain a sub-three marathon is impressive enough but to have three in the same weekend is something pretty special.

Jimmy Dewis was next back having deferred his ballot entry from before. His industrious training regime paid dividends and he was rewarded with a magnificent time of 3:29:15, fast enough to eclipse the legendary Martyn Barrett’s V50 club record. The Atherstone based star ran superbly, hanging on well towards the end when others around him began flagging. Newcomer Chris Tweed was next back in a tremendous personal best time of 3:45:31, again, a rich reward for his incredible hard work training in the months leading up to the big event. Chris was also the fastest Badgers charity runner of the day. Wayne Repton, older brother to the aforementioned Mark made his London marathon debut in style with a time of 4:18:44. Next back in identical times were Adam McElhone and Lil Souter, who was the first female Badger to finish on the day. The ladies team captain clocked 4:45:34 with an impressively intelligent piece of pacing while McElhone never looked back after seizing the opportunity to run the event with both hands after being the lucky recipient of one of the Badgers club ballot places, a debut he will never forget.

Leesa Dennis ran a personal best time at the age of 50, part of what really is an unbelievable journey from gingerly attempting the club’s couch to 5K beginners programme many years ago to clocking 4:47 in the London marathon while raising cash for Mary Ann Evans Hospice. Stephanie Attenborough was next through in 4:53:58 with Jo Hardy coming home in 5:02:51, her first marathon which she used to great advantage in raising funds for Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes. Averil Caton finally got around to accomplishing her dream of completing the event proper after running the virtual version in 2020. She clocked a very credible 5:22:29, a magnificent effort after a long, long journey into running. The inspirational Gail Gunn has overcome numerous obstacles in her life, so the marathon was always going to be an experience to be enjoyed for her and the event did not disappoint as Gail smiled her way round in 5:24:04, a brilliant effort. Finally, a group including Peter Mann, Fiona Reidy, Terry Argyle, Paul Cooper and Vikki Smith all got round safely in just over six and a quarter hours.

There was plenty of Badger support on course with stars such as Clare Whetton, Adi Payne and the banterful Ann-Marie Currier all cheering their teammates along. Strava don Ryan Preece even managed to find the time to squeeze in some cross-training after the race, nailing not just one but two segments adding a late spurt for good measure.

There were three Badgers taking part in the Chester marathon. Newly elected men’s captain Carl Savage ran a massive PB in 3:26:07 to really announce himself in the big league. Matt Green had a difficult day and a difficult lead up but still bravely hung on for another sub-four-hour time in 3:53:39, a top effort. V60 star Adrian Parkes completed his first marathon for the club in a very respectable 4:44:47, three seconds shy of what would have given many club geeks the ultimate finish time satisfaction. He was hampered by injury in the latter stages of the race, so it is a credit to his mental strength that he continued to the end for his medal. Ian Orton ran the Chester Metric Marathon (26.2KM) to complete the hat-trick of Chester based distance events.

The ever-popular Market Drayton 10K took place after a hiatus with speedster Sam Starkey making a welcome return to form with a zippy 38:44. The rapid Rachael Shelton ran 50:08 as first lady back with John Dulson helping himself to a PB time of 51:12, a cracking run. Vicky Fowler and Vicky Jennings finished together in 79:13.

Parkrun saw plenty of action too on this busy weekend. The highlights were at Kingsbury Water Park where Chris Horton extended his run of being the first male finisher at a parkrun to five on the bounce in a streak that began on February 1st, 2020, as he finished in 17:50. Team-mate Danny Warren was 4th in 18:39 with Sam Starkey buggy running to a fine 11th and Rachael Shelton making the top ten ladies in 25:41. Colin Lees narrowly missed out on a spot in the top ten at Babbs Mill with his 21:41, with colleagues David Craig and Andy Smith very close behind. Mick Bailey impressed at Oaklands, the V65 athlete finishing 18th over the entire field in a classy 23:44.