The largest number of runners from the Gainsborough and Morton Striders Athletics Club ever to take part in a marathon graced the famous Manchester event on Sunday.
A total of 17 athletes descended on the city for what is one of the biggest 26-mile races in the country. It is also a favourite destination for those who were unlucky not to secure a place at the London Marathon later this month.
Many of the Striders got up as early as 5 am to catch the coach across the Pennines. And a good number of them made the return journey very satisfied with their efforts.
Top of that list was probably Mark Cutts whose time of three hours, 58 minutes was a good 31 minutes quicker than his first marathon effort.
Aaron Hill managed a 22-minute improvement as he recorded a time of two hours, 58 minutes, which made him only the seventh Strider this century to record a sub-three-hour time.
The other personal bests came from Simon Hunt (three hours, 19 minutes), Glenn Peniston (four hours, 20 minutes) and Mick Wood (four hours, 29 minutes).
The honour of being the first Strider across the line fell to Mat Huteson, making his debut over the distance. He recorded a fantastic time of two hours, 56 minutes, which was good enough for 270th place and made him the fourth fastest Strider this century.
Six other runners were attempting a marathon for the first time. Darryl Kelsey (three hours, 49 minutes) was the first of them to finish, closely followed by Laura Pearson (three hours, 51 minutes).
Dale Swinton (four hours, 20 minutes), finished ahead of Tom Bond (four hours, 30 minutes), Lee Creed (four hours, 41 minutes) and Jonathan Chapman (four hours, 55 minutes), while at the other end of the spectrum, Dave Garner was running his first marathon since helping to form the club back in 1983. He finished in five hours, 36 minutes and did not comment afterwards on whether he would wait another 35 years before tackling his next marathon!
The club’s junior training will resume next Tuesday at 5.30 pm at the Gainsborough Academy, with an adult session the same evening from DW Sports.