Mad for it! Squirrels break records at Manchester Marathon

The record-breaking North Herts Road Runners - Tom Webb, Matt Sayers and Darren Sunter.

The record-breaking North Herts Road Runners - Tom Webb, Matt Sayers and Darren Sunter. - Credit: NHRR

The club record books were re-written at North Herts Road Runners as their athletes turned on the style at the Manchester Marathon.

The route is known to be flat, fast and runner-friendly course and while some expected to get PBs, nobody truly expected what followed next.

The club's marathon record had stood at two hours 32 minutes 57 seconds but Tom Webb obliterated that to record a new time of 2:27:41.

Darren Sunter also broke the old 26.2-mile mark with a PB of 2:31:58, made all the more impressive as he is just coming back from five months out.

That set a club record in the V40 category and it was followed by a new best for the V45 group, Matt Sayers breaking his own club record to set a new time of 2:38:37.

Ben Sewell (2:43:58), Shaun Allin (3:25:03) and Dave Braybrook (3:45:01) joined in the fun by setting PBs, Sewell by 10 minutes.

There was also a PB for Katie Harbon as she finished the Reading Half Marathon in 1:20:18, and sixth woman from a field of almost 20,000, while Russ Hagen ran the London Landmarks Half for the Brain Tumor Charity and Michelle Grudinski got her second best time ever at the Paris Marathon.

Chloe Chapman and Fiona Clarke of Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Manchester Marathon.

Chloe Chapman and Fiona Clarke of Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Manchester Marathon. - Credit: FVS

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Fairlands Valley Spartans had plenty of people out and about, including at Manchester where Stuart Archer overcame a bout of COVID in March to finish 1,553rd.

His time of 3:04:59 wasn't the sub three hour one he wanted but was a PB.

Matt Clarke took nearly five minutes off his best with 3:45:09 while Fiona Clarke clocked her second fastest marathon time of 4:46:45, which was six minutes quicker than her last attempt at the course.

Chloe Chapman though demolished her PB by 39 minutes, setting a new time of 4:43:29.

Elsewhere there was a PB for Luke Gurney at the Essex Half Marathon in Saffron Walden. He clocked 1:44:25, better by almost 12 minutes.