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Medway Marathon

Perhaps a slightly obscure race as it is not part of the Hasler series this event, due to its length (18 miles) and its position in the callendar has become somewhat a testing ground for those planning on racing at the Marathon Worlds. This race was no exception with one of the best feilds gathered to race this year. Top of the list was John Sawyers recently back from the Europeans with good results all year, Tom Daniels the first of the sprint guys to stake his claim on the marathon team, John Simmons 5th at the Europeans in K2 recently and then the oldtimers Steve Baker and Ivan Lawler. An upstream race with relatively tricky portages does not usually allow for a group race but this year the  four to make the break were Sawyers, Daniels, Simmons and Lawler who stayed together for most of the 18 miles. A sprint finish saw a win for Sawyers over Daniels with Lawler an irritating third! The junior race saw a new record set by Mark Childerstone who was unlucky not to make the break with the four seniors, however a record set on this course is a very promising sign for the Worlds in a few weeks. (Most people who have set records here have gone on to win medals)

The race is not limited to the top end guys but is a great event for the whole range of abilities, Starts in speed related groups mean everyone has a good race. The fastest time of 2hrs 9mins down to the slowest of 4hrs 27mins means there is something for everyone here and almost every year the weather is good at this one.

This is the perfect race for all those who complain about the new marathon format being dull and sterile. This is marathon racing as it used to be and I would encourage everyone to give it a go.

Thanks to Tonbridge Canoe club for a very well run event and to Tripper for sponsoring the best prizes of the year.


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