All set for a Marathon effort!
THERE will be plenty of Highgate Harriers racing against time in this weekend s London Marathon – but, in Roger Low s case, the question is whether he will make the start line or not. Low is just one of the thousands of Britons stranded abroad by the unpr
THERE will be plenty of Highgate Harriers racing against time in this weekend's London Marathon - but, in Roger Low's case, the question is whether he will make the start line or not.
Low is just one of the thousands of Britons stranded abroad by the unpronouncable Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull and it's inconvenient ash, and is currently stuck in America - fretting over whether he will be able to participate on Sunday, and maintain his incredible record of running in every one of the capital's 30 marathons to date.
The veteran Harrier has a rich pedigree in the event, once clocking two hours 34 minutes as a 39-year-old, and he was timed at 3:44.22 over the 26 miles and 385 yards in last year's event.
Whether Low runs or not, Highgate's first man home is sure to be Australian international Peter Nowill, who will start near the front of the field as an elite athlete.
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He will be aiming to break the club's marathon record of 2:19, and looked in good shape in the recent Reading half marathon, clocking 1:04:58.
His clubmate Nicky Martyn was the first Over-45 veteran last April, with a time of 2:28:41, and he may run that close again - judging by the fact that he ran two hours dead over 20 miles at Finchley recently.
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Glenn Saqui should comfortably improve on the 2:36:51 that he clocked last year, while his wife Sonja is also running.
Guillaume Cribier should not be far behind as he is targeting 2:37, while 39-year-old Baard Lyngnes is hoping to come in at 2:48.
Steve Thompson clocked 2:58 last year and is looking to beat his time by at least minutes this time out, while New Zealander Damian Shirley - an experienced marathon man - is targeting 2:54.
Becky Penty will be vying to be the first Highgate woman over the line, and is aiming to improve on last year's time of 2:55:44 after enjoying her best winter cross-country season ever.
Rhian Hampson-Jones should also be starting, as is William Laing - who is known more as a two-lap runner for Highgate but, while still a junior, is testing himself over the marathon distance.
He would like to come in under the three-hour mark but feels that, realistically, he might be closer to 3:15.
Alex Edwards is another newcomer to the marathon and, having mostly had his experience on the track, he would be happy to get round the course in 3:45.
Meanwhile, veterans Kevin Linehan and John O'Shea - who ran 3:13.57 in 2007 - are both aiming for three hours.
London Heathside will also have a strong presence at the London Marathon, with George Stewart hoping to lead his club home with a target time of 2:30.
He is likely to face competition from Mike Stocks, who is shooting for 2:35, and Ed Samuel, Steve Monaghan and Ken Heney all hope to come in under 2:50.
Gavin Evans turns 50 next Thursday so is hoping for an early present - ideally a finish around 2:52 - and he may see a fair bit of Andrea Devine, who is aiming for 2:55 and is likely to be the first of Heathside's ladies over the line.
There are likely to be 10 to 15 Heathsiders finishing between the three-hour and four-hour mark, while the club's oldest participant, 57-year-old Phil Bloomfield, is targeting 4:30.