By Jack Whitaker
On a sunny Sunday in central London, Birchfield Harriers’ marathon runners were in good form, producing some impressive times as they crossed the finishing line on the Mall.
The Harriers fastest time was achieved by marathon debutant Ben Livesey who came 15th in the elite category and was the third Brit to cross the line, fifth Brit overall. Livesey ran in a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 24 seconds which saw him just miss out on the Commonwealth Games qualification time, but this should not take away from what was a superb debut performance.
“Although disappointed not to make the qualifying time, it was a reasonable debut run. I was on track (to make the time) until 20miles in, but unfortunately severe cramp developed in my calves and forced me to slow down significantly which was a real shame,” reflected Livesey.
The distance runner was quick to point out how important the people around him had been in preparing for the Marathon. “The support from my wife Hayley, family and friends has been amazing throughout and I could not have done it without them, and as for the level of spectator support on the day. Phenomenal!”
A mention should also be made for Liveseys’ coach, Dave Lawrence who has been a pivotal part in his success in London, working hard with Ben throughout the year.
“For a debut run it was very good, at the marathon you have to find out where you are in things like fitness, it is the first time he’s run it and he did very well,” said Lawrence.
Birchfield Harriers congratulated Livesey on what was a great debut performance and are excited about the 35 year olds prospects after a strong London Marathon.
Other notable performances from the Harriers came from Peter Dimbleby who finished in a time of 2 hours and 50 minutes and Rob Deakin in a time of 2 hours 59. Both men will be heading out to the USA to compete in the famous Boston Marathon on Monday the 21st, before travelling to Nashville the following Friday in an attempt to run three marathons in 13 days – all under three hours.
Both Louisa Davidson and Peter Lawton ran sub 4 hour times for the Harriers, with Davidson finishing in in 3 hours 44, and Lawton crossing the line with a time of 3 hours 50 minutes. 24 year old Peter Whitehouse in his debut marathon came home in a time of 4 hours and 9 minutes.
Congratulations also to Julie-Anne Tallon and Manisha Patel who completed the mammoth task of two marathons in 7 days, finishing the London Marathon having run in Paris the previous weekend.
Elsewhere British Olympic hero Mo Farah finished eighth in his first London Marathon in a time of 2 hours and eight minutes, with Wilson Kipsang of Kenya winning the men’s elite event in 2 hours 4 minutes and 29 seconds.
Edna Kiplagat also of Kenya was the winner of the women’s elite event in a time of 2 hours and 20 minutes with Amy Whitehead the highest placed British female, finishing 13th in a time of 2 hours and 34 minutes.