Yuko Gordon was among the records as veterans competed in the First World Championships Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group
While most eyes were on the African elite and top British seniors at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October, there were three outstanding British records by age group.
Hong Kong 1984 Olympian Yuko Gordon set a British W70 record of 3:25:30.
Gordon came in at the halfway point in 1:40:51, but at this point he was actually following Korean-American Jeannie Rice, who herself broke the age group world record with 3 : 24: 48 in Berlin in 2019, although the mark has yet to be ratified.
Rice, who started a few minutes before Gordon, completed the halfway in 1:39:57 but was passed by Gordon in the second half and was only able to complete her last 5 km until 31:03 at Gordon in 24:59 and ended up with 3:38:38.
Gordon said: “I go out to win every race. Today was not my best performance. It was a difficult journey. But I am very happy to have won my age category.
Rice said, “The World Age Group Championships have been amazing. London was amazing and I enjoyed the whole marathon very much. I look forward to next time.
Susan McDonald, who won world road and country masters medals in To run in Poland in the accompanying events of the last World Indoor Masters Championships, set a British W50 record to take one minute at 2:52:30 from 12-year-old Jo Thompson with 2:51:27.
The 54-year-old completed the first 5 miles in 18:56, a pace of 2:40, and although she was gradually loosening up, she was still undergoing a huge mid-term overhaul as she ‘she actually had a half-marathon PB of 82:59.
She continued to slow down but only slightly with a final 5 km of 21:14 as she finished a second half of 88:28.
Michael Sheridan, 72, became the oldest Briton to cross three hours when he clocked a best UK U70 of 2:59:37. He reached halfway in 90:16 but got faster in the second half and his best 5km time of 20:41 went from 35km to 40km and he was even faster in the races. Last 2 km.
His colleague M70 Yiu-Tung Law, “ran” an alleged 2:50:13 in the virtual event, but it oddly included a first 5 km of 38:47 and a fourth 5 km of 13:17, which suggests whether he was on a bicycle or on a bus!
An interesting contender for the M70 in the virtual race that covered all the right distance was 1972 Olympian Ray Smedley. The semi-finalist in the 1500m from Munich, who also represented England in the 1982 Commonwealth Games marathon, ran in 3:48:19.
One of the most dominant performances in the age group came from 1992 Irish Olympian Tommy Hughes, who narrowly missed his U60 world record as he ran in 2:30:46 after a first half fast of 1:13:45.
The two fastest masters competed in the elite race and Andrew Davies finished first in 2:15:36 ahead of Nick Torry in 2:18:39.
2008 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Shalane Flanagan was the first W40 in the mass race in 2:35:04 “although Sinead Diver ran 2:28:06” in the elite women’s race that started earlier .
Gerry Miller of Canada, 84, also excelled with 5:10:54 and said, “I am very fortunate to be able to run and to be a part of this wonderful and compassionate group of runners. Running allows me to overcome all the things that are not so perfect in the world. It allows me to relax and be in the moment, and that’s life. We all need to enjoy the race.
Hugh brasher, event director of the London Marathon, said: “Sunday was a milestone day for the Abbott World Marathon Majors with the inaugural Wanda Age Group World Championships. These age group athletes are inspiring in their performances. They show that age is not a barrier to success and they embody the spirit of the Abbott World Marathon Majors community.
To read our report on London’s elite men click here and for the women report click here