Wet weather cannot put a dampener on O’Flynn’s Amsterdam Marathon

E�in O'Flynn dipped below 2:45 in his first marathon. Picture submitted
E�in O'Flynn dipped below 2:45 in his first marathon. Picture submitted

Leamington C&AC’s Eóin O’Flynn defied cold, wet conditions to comfortably dip below his 2hr 45min target at the Amsterdam Marathon.

An accomplished triathlete who has represented his native Ireland, O’Flynn had spent the past four months focusing solely on his running ahead of his first attempt at the marathon.

Coming off the back of a personal best half-marathon time of 77:05 set in Nottingham, O’Flynn ran a steady paced race, going through half-way in 81:23.

He maintained his form until 35k and despite slowing up by ten seconds a mile over the last 5k, he was able to rouse himself for a final sprint to finish in 2:43:35.

Spa Striders’ Matt Leydon came home in 3:56:31, while Kenilworth Runners’ Elizabeth Keell ran a new personal best in the half-marathon, recording a time of 1:50:45.

Bernard Kipyego of Kenya retained his Amsterdam Marathon title in a time of 2:06:19.

Closer to home, Kenilworth Runners’ David Leadley finished a fine 44th and second V50 at the 33rd running of the Abingdon Marathon.

The flat course took in Abingdon town and surrounding villages on a calm, overcast day that was ideal for marathon running.

Competing in his first marathon, Leadley comfortably paced a group of sub-2:50 runners for the first half and although he found the going tough over the closing two miles, his excellent time of 2:55:22 gave him an age grading of 80.24%.

Spa Striders’ Trevor Wilkinson again broke three hours again with his time of 2:58:09 placing him 64th overall.

Following him in a huge personal best was Paul Edwards (3:03:04), who joined Wilkinson in gaining a Good For Age qualifying time for London.

Carolyn Wilkinson grabbed a London Marathon championship place for the seventh time thanks to an impressive run of 3:12:19.

Spa Striders’ Pete Soley made a superb half-marathon debut at the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run, clocking 1:25:56 for the course, which features a fearsome kick in the final couple of miles as runners tackle ‘The Hill’.

In his first half, Leamington C&AC teenager Johnathon Brown was 127th in 1:23:13, with clubmate Jack Savage clocking 1:29:25.

Andrew Higgins continued his return to form with a run of 1:35:37, just over 30 seconds off his personal best.

Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): Vassilis Andreoulakis (86:50); Richard Broadbent (88:07); Jon Mettyear (88:07); Gary Morgan (1:40:32); Martin Belcher (1:42:25); James Delaney (1:43:51); Mark Loosmore (1:48:00); Samantha Moffatt (1:56:34).

Spa Striders’ Lucas Thrillson was also in PB form, clocking 1:58:39 at the Exeter Half Marathon.

Meanwhile, Kenilworth Runners’ had double success at the Welcombe Wobbler and Welcome Trembler on Sunday with Connor Carson winning the 10k distance Wobbler in 32:41 and Danielle Bryan the Trembler 5k in 19:05.

The Wobbler is an off-road two-lap run over the Welcome Hills in Stratford, with the Trembler run over one lap.

Both courses came up well short, with the Wobbler measuring around 5.5 miles.

Kenilworth Runners’ Anthony Morgan (37:26) and Alex Atkinson (37:33) also gained top-ten finishes in the Wobbler, while youth Ryan Baker (21:04) was 12th in the Trembler.

Spa Striders were out in force, with men’s captain Will Johnson coming third in the Wobbler in 35:18.

Bethan Gwynn (42:46) and Caroline Whitehouse (44:00) were the second and third women behind Banbury Harriers’ Roz Kelling (41:16).

Selected other Welcombe Wobbler finishers (Spa Striders unless stated): 18, Richard Hardman (41:02); 212, Andrew Bonjour (41:14); 25, Mike Mannion (41:40); 39, Clive Parpworth (44:11); 55, Jon Radley (Kenilworth Runners, 47:00); 59, Anne Hurrell (47:53); 66, Jude Baum (49:50); 67, Amanda Wiggins (50:03); 75, Suzi Graham (51:04); 87, Helen Wright (53;08); 94, Kimberley Fryey (56:20); 95, Pauline Dable (Kenilworth Runners, 57:19); 98, Chris Jones (57:28); 99, Nicky Atherton (Kenilworth Runners, 57:31).