As winter starts to bite in London, a round-up of later autumn progress. Numerous marathon advances across the span of UK, Europe and USA, but also some hard-earned progress at lower distances. In particular Jon S, at age 55 cracking out a recent 36.34 10k, national level in this age group and at least two minutes quicker than his level earlier in 2017. Also gradual progress from Nicola A, regular park winner in Surrey who has brought her 5k time to 18.48 in recent weeks and continues to chip away at the PB. Also setting PBs well into his 40s is part-time Copenhagener and hero of the Guardian running blog, Paul R, benefiting from that now well-known Danish hygge with PBs of 74.16 at half marathon and 16.36 at 5k.
Whilst over 26.2 miles, top billing this time is shared by another 43 year old, Martin G, 2nd place in the ever-popular Abingdon Marathon, 2.34 on a very windy day, and the interesting case of Paul P, who contacted me in late spring, saying as a 2.28 marathoner that any PBs ‘ will now be a few seconds’. Well he found 55 seconds in Chicago to go to a low 2.27 on a slightly warm day. A driven man and he has his long-term club record of 2.25.54 as his next big target. Numerous others making fine progress, with PB margins in brackets – including Andrea 2.33 in New York (14mins!); Nick I – 2.38 (7 mins); Jeremy 2.51 (4 mins); Jack B – 3.01 (8 mins); Angelos 3.10 (32 mins). Not the fastest but as well judged as any was Ciro in San Sebastian, where after the pre-race chat where I suggested that 3.01/3.02 would be a great run and set him up for sub 3 in London (he had done mid 86 mins at the Ealing Half, as context), he made the most of perfect weather and race course and came home in 2.59.06. PB and first sub 3 after numerous attempts.