Grantham Running Club’s Andrew Pask joined 55,000 runners on the famous Champs-Élysées for the start of this year’s Paris Marathon.
In an international field, Andrew, opting to wear a vest with his native Welsh colours, was cheered on with shouts of ‘Allez Pays De Galles’ and ‘Come on Wales’ throughout the 26.2-mile course.
On an unusually warm day, Andrew took every precaution to keep cool, utilising any bit of shade available. Feeling strong at midway in 1hr 33min 33sec, Andrew sensed it was his day. With other runners slowing around him, he held on to the pace for the last few miles for a strong finish in front of thousands of supporters at the Arc de Triomphe.
Finishing in the top four per cent, Andrew’s time of 3:07:34 was a big personal best, earning him a UK Athletics ranking over the distance.
Meanwhile, another runner from the club chose to enjoy the sun in the Yorkshire Half Marathon.
The 13.1-mile race took place in Sheffield and headed up out of the city to the edge of the Peaks before descending back into the city.
Chris Limmer was running his final race before the London Marathon and was hoping to be within a few minutes of the 1hr 20min he ran at the Newton’s Fraction half in March.
The first 10km were a glorious struggle and the long drag out of the city was really worth it for the stunning views into the countryside to one side and looking down on Sheffield from the other.
Chris kept up with a pack of runners containing the leading lady and was able to up the pace as the course began its descent. The lack of shade meant he was not able to completely freewheel down to the finish.
Every water station counted and provided much needed cooling. Chris kept going and let gravity do its bit; he overtook the first lady and nearly caught a couple of other competitors but did not quite have it in his legs to pull himself in front.
This did mean that rather than a 1:19:00, he had to settle for a time one second faster than he ran at Newton’s Fraction in 1:20:04, finishing 28th out of more than 5,000 competitors and a real confidence booster ahead of London.