By Melanie Georgiades
The London Marathon is exemplary of why so many individuals participate in running events across the year. Whether it is to reach a goal, in memory of loved ones or as a hobby, everyone has their own story to tell. A Canterbury Harrier with one of those stories is Adam Stokes, who signed-up due to his ambitious love for running. When interviewed, Adam stated that he just wanted to “be the best” that he could be. The fact that he ran the 26.2 miles in 2:44:37 for the Royal Navy, allowing him to now refer to himself as an elite marathoner, has started him on an excellent footing.
There were congratulations all-round for the Canterbury Harriers; Sally Osborne ran her second marathon for the week, achieving a brilliant result of 4:19:13. Sally’s story is one of family ties; when she was a child her father used to take her to London to see the marathon. They used to stand on a traffic island with the runners all around them. From that point, she knew that she wanted to run in this historical event. Since then, Sally’s love for running has led her to complete 35 marathons.
With 40,000 finishers, including elite runners, Canterbury Harriers’ own Barbara Wenman had an outstanding time of 3:23:33, making her the second Lady VET 55-59. As well as this, Colin Kent and Gary Hovery accomplished PB’s of 3:24:04 and 4:09:36 respectively. Also, a debut run by Anna Fisk resulted in a finish time of 4:13:03.
The London Marathon is a grand illustration of how everyone has the ability to achieve personal goals within running. It provides the opportunity to bring individuals together no matter whether they are an athlete or an amateur runner. As Sally Osborne advises, “you are only racing against yourself to get a PB, so it is something you can enjoy irrespective of speed”. However, no matter how personal the London Marathon is to each individual, it requires disciplined training and knowing when to stop in order to be safe when running such a long distance.
All in all, the London Marathon 2014 did not let down expectations both for the viewers and the participants, with the British sunshine providing a wonderful day. As Adam Stokes quotes, “that was one incredible experience! A wall of sound for 26.2 miles; every runner should try to run that at least once in their running careers”.