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Manchester Marathon 2023

On Sunday 16th April in Manchester the sun was metaphorically shining as tens of thousands took to the street to test what can be done with the human body. Others stood by and waved and cheered wildly as the runners passed by.

Now the runners-what can I say? Amazing. Terrific. Smashing…heading the pack the mighty Gavin Browne sub 2.40 and perfect pacing. Looking cool and calm at mile 22 and a superb PB. Not perfect preparation with illness so plenty of room for improvement still! Other tremendous sub 3 performances from Callum Parkinson well in the zone with 2.53. Robin Horner a gritty 2.54 followed by the floating Sam Mabbott 2.56 and Darren Smith grafting away with a dodgy hip for 2.57.

Then the clean shaven and waxed James Hartshorne doing jazz hands again at 10 mile finishing with 3.07. Josh Walton next cruising along for 3.08 looking like he was out for a stroll and Lee Butler shaking off the attentions of a running juggler for a great PB of 3.12. Next Tom Bentley digging in for the last 4 miles with 3.19. Dan Kenny who was well up on the sub 3 hour pace for the first half but the pace caught up with him and he slowed but held on wonderfully for a valiant 3.22. A real gutsy run and something to build on for someone so young.

Surprise of the day for many was a rejuvenated Andy Sykes grinning and high fiving at mile 10 and looking like he was enjoying the ride. Slightly different at mile 20 as he slowed but ploughed on and enjoyed the whole experience. A great turn around from the start of the year finishing in 3.25. Next we have the award for the most buzzing and smiley and positive person at mile 10, Hayley Simpson. Arm waving and looking like the cat who has got the cream setting off at a dazzling pace. By 20 miles the smiles had gone but the steely determination to finish the job was there in her eyes. This girl was going to finish and get it done no doubt about it. A marvellous debut marathon in 3.25 and a great experience for the lady who swears she will never do another. A nice hot bath and a few days reflection may tell a different story. It’s a funny old game. Finally award for the best run on the least amount of training must be Katie Catherall who finished smiling as usual.

Once again well done to everyone today. It’s not just a race on one day it has been months of preparation and training for this one special day.

Pictured left to right – Lee Butler, Sam Mabbott, Darren Smith, Andy Sykes, James Hartshorne and Dan Kenny looking happy with their finishers medals!

Glenn Piper