London Marathon – Brief Report

By Peter Simpson

Our men led the way in numbers at Brighton, now it was the turn of our women with six finishing between 3 & 4 hours. Visiting the RED start, Katie Sinclair found the club banner from zone 6 which was an achievement otherwise it was difficult spotting the members, some in charity vests. Katie normally uses these big events as opportunities to fund raise for Blue Cross with another £1,300 or so from her run and all of the activities she has organised for the sponsorship. Steve Penny and Liz Lockwood were two more of our runners raising funds.

After the start, I eventually settled in Canary Wharf to see many of our runners in the vegan runners vest come through including: John Bateson, Georgie Simmons, Verna Burgess, Cherryl Sinclair, Alex Portwine and Robert Crangle.  Georgie and Verna were less than a minute apart and similarly Cherryl & Alex.

Leaving Canary Wharf a little late and walking from Waterloo station I did not arrive at our meeting point near the Finish until 1.30pm so may have missed one or two of our early finishers. I soon met Verna who gave another superb performance with a 3.18 PB followed by Caz Lyall-Ford whose gun time was 3.29. Cherryl, a late declaration for VRUK was aiming for a PB but was a little disappointed with 3.54.22 as she slowed towards the end as many of us do in marathons. Cherryl remained at the meeting point for at least an hour hoping to meet some of our other finishers. This year I remained at the meeting point for as long as possible to meet runners who intended to come along to report on their run and for photos.

There was support from Siobhan Carleton-Green who took photos at 25 miles from a bridge, posted them on our Facebook group ‘UK Vegan Runners’ and turned up later at the meeting point.  Joe & Jane Harling were supporting from Birdcage Walk with less than a mile to go, Joe having withdrawn earlier in the week.  Knowing Liz would arrive later in the afternoon, we finally met with Liz reporting that she suffered a leg injury after 6 miles but managed to continue without too much pain. I left the meeting point at about 5.10pm.

Whilst we were at the meeting point we did get interest from two other runners who are going to check our website and consider joining. Member Vanessa Hudson was also at the Finish to raise funds and awareness for the Animal Welfare Party and gave support at our meeting point.

After leaving the finish, Joe & Jane Harling and myself visited the Tao Chinese Vegan Buffet in Great Windmill Street. Surprisingly it was empty at 5.30pm although some customers visited while we were there.

The full results for our runners:

John Bateson, 3.10.26,  overall 2341st, 486th V40

Georgie Simmons, 3.13.35,  228th female, 149th sen

Verna Burgess, 3.18.37,  322 female, 10th V50

Caz Lyall-Ford, 3.28.52, 640 female, 80 V45

Shelley Vander Berg,  3.45.13, 1433 female, 287 V40

Robert Crangle,  3.46.40, 8223, 625 V50

Alex Portwine,  3.49.56, 1751 female, 1010 sen

Cherryl Sinclair, 3.54.22, 2077 female, 1202 sen

Steve Penny,  4.07.44,  13492,  945 V50

Katie Sinclair, 4.24.37,  4592 female,  2723 sen

Liz Lockwood, 6.15.26, 12112 female, 7368 sen


Well done to all of our members who completed the course on a warm day by the afternoon, making it one of our highest turnouts for the London Marathon.