Great Yarmouth Road Runners make their mark in London Marathon

Great Yarmouth Road Runners Nicola Baker, Penny Studley, Mark Stone, Vicky Quantrill and Neil Sible

Great Yarmouth Road Runners Nicola Baker, Penny Studley, Mark Stone, Vicky Quantrill and Neil Sibley at the finish of the London Marathon. Picture: Penny Studley. - Credit: Archant

A total of 40,000 hopefuls took to the streets for the 37th London Marathon and amongst them were nine Great Yarmouth Road Runners.

A minibus of club supporters provided a lifeline of cheers and encouragement to the runners passing at mile 13 and again at the 22-mile point.

Taking on the 26.2 mile challenge is a battle of physical strength and endurance but it also tests your mental strength. Coming out on top for the club was the experienced Vicky Quantrill. She ran her fifth London Marathon in her second fastest time of 3:22.44.

It was an emotional day for two of GYRR’s longest serving members. Neil Sibley, who has competed in an impressive 10 London Marathons, has decided to hang up his London trainers. He was delighted to bid farewell to the capital with a time of 3:28.53. Jeff Helmore ran his ninth and final marathon in a time of 3:54.57, raising in excess of £2,500 for the charity Action for Children in the process.

The first personal best of the day came from the in-form Penny Studley who ran her fifth consecutive London Marathon in 3:39.45. Ian Tooley ran a solid race to finish in 3:42.18 which was also a PB.

Injury can strike at any time and earlier in the season for Nicola Baker it was doubtful she would make the startline but she showed her true strength and determination to battle through to run her fifth marathon in a new PB time of 3:44.20.

For years Mark Stone has been desperate to run in this iconic race. He received one of the highly sought-after club places and raced bravely, finishing in 3:52.17.

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The second club place was awarded to Jessica Vincent for her first marathon. She did what few first-timers manage to achieve — working hard to break the four-hour barrier. Jess looked comfortable throughout managing an evenly paced run to finish in 3:59.01. She raised £1,960 for the East Anglia Air Ambulance which she dedicated to the memory of family friend Jack Southey.

Veteran Nicos Symeou ran his 20th London Marathon dressed as Barney Rubble with his son as Fred Flintstone. They raised £500 for a local charity called GYBB which helps the homeless. Nicos was carrying an injury so was pleased to finish in 5:09.45. Elaine Haggarty who runs for GYDAC but is second claim to GYRR, went round in 5:22.