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Martyn on track to lead Harriers challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:45 20 April 2007 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 September 2010

Nicky Martyn will be hoping for his second successive top veteran finish in the London Marathon as he heads up a strong list of Harriers on Sunday. Martyn (pictured) was the first veteran over 40 to complete the course in 2hours 26mins 08secs last year.

Nicky Martyn will be hoping for his second successive top veteran finish in the London Marathon as he heads up a strong list of Harriers on Sunday.

Martyn (pictured) was the first veteran over 40 to complete the course in 2hours 26mins 08secs last year.

In the same race, Andrew Collinge, who was the top Harriers runner in the Finchley 20 this year - ran 2hrs 44mins 37secs, while Guillaume Cribier ran 2hours 38mins 49secs and Jeremy Rogers ran 2hours 41mins 17secs.

This year, Rogers is hoping for a time inside three hours, which is well within his grasp. He recently came third of 356 runners in the Meanwood trail race near Leeds.

Another of the winning team for Highgate in the Finchley 20 was Daniel Higgins, who will also be looking to finish this year's marathon within the three-hour mark.

Damien Shirley will hope for a time inside 2hours 57mins and Graeme Smith, who has been running for just five years and ran the Belfast marathon in 3hours 28mins, is looking to improve on that.

John O'Shea, who runs for the Civil Service, is competing in his first marathon and despite injuries earlier in the season hopes for a time inside 3hours 15mins.

The fourth member of the winning Harriers Finchley 20 team, Kevin Linehan, should be well inside the 3hours 30mins mark.

Two outstanding competitors in the London Marathon through the years will be hoping to keep their record of being ever-present.

One of those who completed his 26th marathon last year was 79-year-old Reg Burbidge. His best time was when he was 56 and ran 3hours 42mins 03secs.

Likewise, Roger Lowe who ran 3hours 44mins 50secs last year when he was 62, has never missed a race. His best London time was 2hours 33mins 47secs in 1983 when he was 39.

Meanwhile Lawrence Matthewman and Samara Williams will lead the charge for Camden as young athletes from across the borough test their stamina in the London Mini Marathon, also on Sunday.

Camden have 48 runners - eight in each of the age groups, 11-12 years, 13-14 and 15-17.

Matthewman, 17, of La Swap is hoping for a top-20 finish after coming 69th last year in 15mins 08secs.

Acland Burghley's Samara Williams, 12, has improved significantly this winter.

In last year's event she ran 19mins 38secs for 71st position, but this year she can realistically expect a sub-18 minute run which would place her in the top 15.

Amy-Jane Cotter, 13, has been shaking off injury recently but is a good Mini Marathon competitor, who ran 18mins 36secs last year. She should be close to the 18-minute barrier this time around.

Anna Clarke-Janssen of Camden School for Girls has had a good cross-country season and was fastest in the Camden trial.

However, she will have to run 17mins 30secs to secure a top-20 place in the 15-17 age group.

William Laing of UCS has moved up to the boys 15-17 age group this year, having come 43rd in the 13-14s in 2006 with a time of 15mins 59secs. He will be looking for a top-50 finish this year.

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