It was an early start for a depleted Striders squad, ravaged by injury, missing the likes of Rob Beers, Simon Bottrill & Vicki Lowe. Conditions were perfect if a little cold, however after a hearty breakfast of poached eggs on toast the 3 intrepid athletes took to the start line, along with 166 other eager runners.
Michael Atton led from the start with his trademark pace followed by Dan Valencia & then the experienced John Houghton running in his 16th marathon. The course follows a railway line for 90% of the way with only slight changes in gradient & surface. The runners were treated to spectacular views over the beautiful Peak District national park however as tempratures rose, and fatigue set in the focus was set firmly on the 26.2 miles ahead.
Striders stalwart John Houghton came in at 3:46:09 beating his PB by 4 minutes for the marathon! The Burton Lazars man came in 71st, running a fantastic,cleverly paced race. 2nd Strider in was Dan Valencia in 4:13:07 in 112th place. Valencia has struggled with his marathon form this year, amidst rumours that his dip in form is due to his controversial new footwear. 3rd Strider in was the giant Michael ( Mick) Atton. The Old Dalby runner came in at a highly respectable 4:16:55 in his first ever marathon!
After the 3 had went through the obligatory, media, post race rub downs, & Houghton had finished in the doping tent, the 3 weary souls enjoyed a light meal in a Cramford hostelry, with wives & girlfriends, mission accomplished! [Dan]