Virgin Money London Marathon 2018:
Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) was the star performer as hundreds of local athletes braved high temperatures as they took on the 38th annual Virgin Money London Marathon (Sunday 22nd April 2018).
The Northern Ireland and Ireland international produced a perfectly paced effort to secure a personal best and European Championships marathon standard, despite reports suggesting that he had considered pulling out of the race at the 10 mile mark.
After going through 10k in 32:12 and 13.1 miles in 1:07:48, the Stephen kept the pace well to cross the line in 2:15:55 – this was enough to secure an impressive 12th place in the elite men’s race.
After the race, Stephen took to social media, explaining how the race went: “That was hard work today and I doubted myself a few times out there, ‘too heavy for this heat’ – ‘drop out and run Belfast hard’, but that’s running and it’s a battle. That was real racing, bit hotter than optimum. But I’m proud of myself, always learning and adjusting from mistakes.”
There was also a promising performance from young Newcastle AC athlete Eoghan Totten, who clocked 2:26:32 on his first effort over marathon distance. England based NI man Jarleth McKenna (Bristol & West AC), also ran well in the heat, crossing the line in 2:32:00.
Alex Donald (North Down AC) ran 2:38:02, while Darrel Cooper (Ballydrain Harriers) and Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) finished close together in the 41,000 strong field, with Darrel finishing in 2:43:02 and Neill in 2:43:26.
In the ladies race, Dub Runners of Belfast athlete Collette McCourt was the first local finisher in 3:13:46. Ultra-runner Susan McCartney (BARF) followed in 3:16:08, just over a minute ahead of Lyndsey Tyro (Orangegrove AC) and Patricia McKibbin (Newcastle AC) – just thirty seconds split the pair, with Lyndsey running 3:17:25 and Patricia 3:17:55.
Tara Malone (1Zero1), a member of Paul Pollock’s #DreamRunDublin18 team, crossed the line in 3:19:02 and was followed closely by Newcastle AC’s Sinead Murtagh, who recorded 3:19:11. East Down AC’s Niamh Kellet reached the finish line in 3:20:32.
Eimear McCracken (City of Lisburn AC) was the next familiar face to turn onto the famous Mall, finishing in 3:28:12. North Belfast Harriers’ Janice Plumb ran 3:28:41, dipping under the 3:30 mark.
At the front of the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 field, Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) claimed the men’s title in 2:04:17, with Great Britain’s Mo Farah securing a 3rd place finish in 2:06:21, a new British record.
In the ladies race, Vivian Cheruiyet (Kenya) came through to win in 2:18:31 as pre-race favourite and leader for much of the race, Mary Keitany (Kenya), crumbled in the latter stages.
Full results for the Virgin Money London Marathon can be found HERE.
There was also local interest in the associated London Mini-Marathon, with Northern Ireland represented in all of the races. Results for the event are available HERE.