ATHLETICS: Larne AC runners join thousands at London Marathon

The Larne Athletic Club contingent which took part in Sunday's London Marathon. INLT 17-959-CON

The Larne Athletic Club contingent which took part in Sunday's London Marathon. INLT 17-959-CON

Eight members of Larne AC joined thousands of runners at Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon.

The months of hard work and dedication paid off for the club’s participants as they all ran strongly and recorded excellent times.

David Noble was first home and was very close to his personal best as he clocked 3:01:29. Martan Keane was hot on his heels in 3:03:21. Next home for the club was Paul Gaskell (3:09:35) and he was followed to the finish line by Patricia Blair, who in her first marathon, ran 3:21:50. It was the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded by a female for Larne AC.

Mark Todd was also making his marathon debut and he ran a superb 3:46:39. His training partner Heather Baxter was next home in 3:54:17; yet another sub-four-hour outing for the prodigious distance runner.

First-timer Clare McGuinness, supported by Daniel Magill, also had an excellent run and crossed the line in 4:28:24.

Elsewhere, the Topping brothers, James and Jonathon took part in this week’s Queen’s 5k. James had a strong run and was first home in 18:49, with Jonathan running just outside 20 minutes in a personal best 20:02.

At Saturday’s Ballynahinch 10k Bernard Brady made a great return to racing when he was first home for the club, finishing seventh overall, in a time of 37:30 to win the MV50 category.

William Thompson claimed 11th spot (38:29). He was followed home by Paul Tilson who was 18th overall (40:35).

Earlier this month, Larne AC’s Wayne Morrow ran a personal best in the Rome Marathon. His time of 2:53.56 took exactly four minutes of his previous best.