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Gemma the Dinosaur breaks Guinness World Record in London Marathon

25 Apr, 2017

A new Guinness World Record was just one of the accolades achieved by Almost Athletes as 34 members travelled to the capital to compete in this year's London Marathon with some blistering performances right across the spectrum of the club. In near ideal running conditions Douglas Wight ran the race of his life to a new personal best in 2 hours 36 minutes and 38 seconds giving him 181st place in a total field of more than 40,000 runners. Next was Matt Barnes in a new PB too of 2.53.51 having broken it previously only last month in Barcelona. Matt committed to go hard from the start and did not disappoint, finishing just outside the first 1000 runners. Josh Hand ran a magnificent first half but suffered from the pace in the final quarter yet still delivered a clear sub 3 hours in 2.55.01. Next home was Steve Linton, still a relative new comer to the marathon distance but secured an excellent 3 hours 2 minutes. The club's first lady over the line in a truly superb 3.10 was Hattie Jenkins who doggedly ran through some injury niggles to secure the time, a PB for Hattie by more than 20 minutes. Richard Birch was next home in a superb 3.15 closely followed by club stalwart Dale Midwinter in 3.16. Sally Mason recorded an excellent 3.32 followed by Ceri Griffiths who chased hard and secured a PB by 16 minutes to record a fantastic 3.37. John Liptrot took a 3.38 and secured a notable 25th place in his age category. Sally Pate took an excellent 3.39 followed by Helen Fursman Reid with a well-deserved 3.40. Hot on her heels was Karen Galpin in 3.41, 95th in her category and in the same 3.41 time Mike Daly obliterated his PB by more than 17 minutes. Simon Attridge worked hard and was delighted with his 3.43, closely followed home by Ingrid Harris in 3.44 who is closing in on her 100th marathon milestone. Michelle Balchin showed that the long and dedicated training miles really do pay off with a 3.45. Securing his first marathon finish in an excellent 3.51 was David Pilling, with Allan Green in 3.53 who completed his 444th marathon finish. Gemma Stevens bagged a superb 3.57, all the more amazing as she also took a new Guinness World Record for the fastest female marathon dressed in a full body dinosaur outfit. Gemma even had time to stop on the run for a BBC interview with Olympian Colin Jackson. Just dipping under the 4 hours in a gritty, determined run of 3.58 was Anne-Marie Willicott. Next home in a hard fought for 4.04 was Dave Elliott. Making her marathon debut and securing a very impressive 4.10 was Aline Imray. Frances Jauch showed determination to record a 4.28 with Mike Harris also making his marathon debut in 4.29. Sandra Stuart was delighted with her 4.47, and was followed closely home by Rachel Fargher and Dave Davey both in 4.49. John Galpin dug deep in the rising temperatures to hit 5.05 with Caroline Chipperfield working hard for her 5.29. Finally but by no means least was Christine Walker in an excellent 6.23. Victoria Kennedy ran an excellent Easter Enigma marathon in Milton Keynes in an impressive 3:45:55 to take the 1st lady trophy. Further afield Matt Proome and Farook Mota completed the gruelling Two Oceans 56km ultra-marathon in Cape Town, South Africa. Mota secured a 5.23 with Proome hot on his heels in 5.25. At the Offas dyke 'Orror 20k Vasco Barreto took a 2.01 and Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto a 2.08. At Cheltenham Parkrun, Jayne Adams was the April Parkrunner of the month having scored a string of recent PBs Jo Johnston tackled the Windsor Gung-Ho! Inflatable Obstacle 5k. Haiggy McHaig continues his series of 50 marathons with number 26, the Newcastle Way marathon in 5hrs 36. Matt Polson completed the Blockley 10k which turned out to be 11.5k in 48 minutes, 3rd man home and Melvyn Harris ran the Corsham 10k in 1:06. Sue Monaghan scored a new PB of 54.53 and 3rd in her category at the Southampton 10k.