Peel Road Runners descended on Birmingham city centre on Sunday to either participate or to provide support to the thousands of runners who took to the city’s streets for the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon & Half Marathon events.
The Marathon race which started at the Alexandra Stadium in Perry Bar, meandered through the city centre and out towards Edgbaston. From there it was an ‘unpopular’ double loop from Edgbaston out to Bourneville and then back towards the city centre with the finish line adjacent to the Aston University buildings. Unseasonably mild weather brought warm running conditions after the rather grey drizzly start out at the Stadium.
Leading the Peel Road Runners back home was Ashley Baldwin who finished the 26.2mile route in 43rd place overall with a superb sub 3hr time of 2:56:42hrs. Not too far behind Ashley was Robbie Baden who was mildly disappointed to finish just outside the automatic qualifying times for London with a time of 3:10:48hrs and in 146th place overall.
Malcolm Bembridge was the next Peeler to finish with a time of 3:56:45hrs. Jenna Wilson was the first Peel Road Runner female to pass the finish shared the same time as Malcolm with 3:56:45mins. The final sub 4 hour finisher for the Peelers was Trevor Thompson with an excellent time of 3:57:01hrs.
Simon Smith overcame some serious cramp problems on the second loop around Edgbaston with the aid of a salt tablet given to him by another club runner. Simon went on to finish just outside the 4hr mark with 4:02:46hrs. The next Peel Road Runner to reach the finish line was Michael Shelton who managed 4:14:49hrs for his 2nd marathon in seven days with Trevor the Bear on his back and was just ahead of Craig Strong with 4:19:18hrs and Darren O’Leary with 4:24:00hrs.
Sandra Ingram, completing her second marathon for 2017, was next to finish with 4:31:38hrs just ahead of Darren Cotton running his first marathon and finishing with a time of 4:38:02hrs.
Joanne Insley put in a stoic performance and finished with an amazing 4:43:02hrs, putting all her recent injury concerns behind her which had threatened to deny her of her place on the starting line.
Robert Donovan ticked off yet another marathon on his 2017 challenge and crossed the line in 5:27:05hrs but the performance of the day came from an exhausted Darren Truman, who having suffered a calf injury in the early stages of the race, had the mental resilience to battle on through the pain to cross the line with a time of 5:45:09hrs.
The 13.2mile Half Marathon race was scheduled later on the same day and took in parts of the marathon route from the mornings race but started and finished in the city centre. It was Phil Neale who was the first Peeler back across the finish line with 1:43:58hrs just ahead of Shaun Coyle who managed a superb 1:45:36hrs for his first half marathon.
Jason Church followed Shaun home with a time of 2:09:42hrs and Sam Harris managed a half marathon PB with a time of 3:11:08hrs.
Away from the busy city centre, Val Lawson was rewarded with some (rather smelly) cheese for her efforts when she ran 56:29mins in the Stilton Stumble 10k, a road race around some of the scenic Nottinghamshire villages and surrounding countryside from where the cheese is made.
Finally, the weekends wouldn’t be the same without a Parkrun and many Peel Road Runners were out for their, now traditional, Saturday morning 5k run. At Kingsbury Water Parkrun it was Shaun Coyle putting in some final Half Marathon prep who lead the way home crossing the finish line with a time of 22:25mins just ahead of Garth Cox who managed a new PB time of 22:54mins. Robert Hirst was next to finish with 24:36mins ahead of Stuart Hatton with 25:51mins and George Hope with 27:24mins. Marking her 50th Parkrun with a new PB was Caroline Evans, who was also the first Peel Road Runner female to finish, with a time of 30:21mins ahead of Laura Bowyer with a time of 32:30mins.
Peel Road Runners meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm at the Snowdome in Tamworth.
New members are always welcome.