October was a busy month for Alton Runners marathon runners and ultra-marathon runners with club members taking part in 6 varied events.
Two members of Alton Runners travelled to South America in October to take part in the Galapagos Islands Marathon and managed to take first place in both the men’s and women’s races. The marathon course starts at 574 meters above sea level on the highest part of the paved road which crosses the island and ends at a small beach in the main town. The course is run on asphalt, cement, inlaid blocks or dirt road and passes spots where occasionally there are grazing wild giant tortoises and lounging sea lions. On the island where Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories the overall winner of the race and first placed woman was Diane Byrne of Alton Runners. In second place and first placed man was Diego Maldonado also of Alton Runners.
Another member of Alton Runners travelling overseas to take part in a marathon in October was Claire McCleod who travelled to Germany to take part in her first marathon. Nearly 23,000 runners and walkers participated in the 30th anniversary Marathon and enjoyed the applause of the spectators along the streets. Participants from 58 countries made the Munich Marathon an amazing international experience. Claire was pleased to complete the marathon in 4 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds and is looking forward to her next one.
Also competing abroad for Alton Runners in October was Joachim Valera who travelled to Portugal to take part in the Lisbon Marathon. The marathon course starts in the coastal town of Cascais, runs along the Atlantic and through the beautiful gardens of Oeiras, then back along the banks of the Tagus river, touring the heart of old Lisbon . Joachim completed the race in 4 hours, 48 minutes and 9 seconds.
Not quite as far away, but in what the organisers described as the UK’s only international marathon Jim Armitage took part in the Chester marathon. The course is so described as it starts at Chester race course, runs through Chester City Centre and out into the countryside over the Welsh border and back again. Jim ran the first 20 miles at three and a half hour pace but slowed down towards the end and was well pleased to finish in 3 hours 36 minutes and 22 seconds.
Even closer to home, Sarah Thomas and Emma Scott took part in the Clarendon Marathon. This is a challenging (hilly) course setting off from the outskirts of Salisbury and running mostly off road to Winchester. It was a lovely sunny autumn day and Sarah and Emma finished together with smiles on their faces in 4 hours 26 minutes and 43 seconds.
Not to be outdone by the marathon runners, Philip Scrase and David Hayles travelled to Goring in Oxfordshire to take part in Centurion Running’s 100 mile long trail race. The format of the race, with its four out and back spurs returning to Goring every 25 miles, engendered a feeling of amazing camaraderie out on the course enabling the support team (Richard Scrase) to stay in touch with the runners at various stages of the route. Despite David injuring his leg late in the race both he and Philip completed the Ultra-marathon in 26 hours 8 minutes and 33 seconds.