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ATHLETICS: Fernandez is Oxon's best
PAUL Fernandez has no plans to take it easy after being Oxfordshire’s first man home in the Virgin London Marathon.
The Abingdon Amblers star recorded a personal best time of 2hrs 33mins 43secs to finish in 80th place.
But instead of reflecting on his achievement, Fernandez is due to ‘reward’ himself by taking part in a six-hour track race in Crawley on Saturday.
While many top runners struggled in the second half of the Marathon, Fernandez finished strongly and was four minutes clear of the county’s second man – David Bruce (Oxford University).
“The best thing for me was that I had never dreamt of coming in the top 100 – and I came 80th,” said Fernandez.
“I think I was the 58th British runner. I’m not sure I will ever run that fast again.
“It was a pb by three minutes, so I was pleased by that.
“I wasn’t looking to be the first Oxfordshire man home. I was just trying to go as fast as I could.”
Bruce clocked 2.37.39, just ahead of Nigel Marley, from Bicester, who recorded 2.37.41.
Abingdon’s Oz Ellis (2.39.11) was the only other Oxon athlete to break 2.40, the RAF officer winning a bronze medal in the Inter-Services Championships as a result.
Fernandez added: “There were more runners than I expected to see struggling and walking by the road side.
“I am not sure what caused it. The weather was almost perfect.
“Maybe that made some people go out a bit too hard.
“I went out a bit too fast, so I slowed down between five and nine miles.
“I got through halfway in just under 75 minutes.
“It paid off because in the last ten miles I was picking off people all the time.
“I must have improved by around 30 places and no one passed me.
Fernandez said Saturday’s Crawley A.I.M. Charity Track 6 Hour Race would be “less intensive” than the marathon.
“I am hoping to do 50 miles,” he said. “I will go for a three-hour marathon then I will see what happens from there.
“There is also a 12-hour race going on, so I am just doing the fun race.
“I am trying to to get a good race in for six or seven hours and I want to make the England team for 100km.
“I have never run two marathons in two weeks before, but hopefully this one will be less intensive.”
Eynsham Road Runners’ Denise Bridges was the fastest Oxfordshire ladies’ club runner, recording 3.22.21.
Clubmate Kate Williamson was second in the ladies vet 65 category after clocking 3.41.09.
VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON RESULTS
(senior men unless stated)
Abingdon Amblers: P Fernandez 2.33.43, O Ellis 2.39.11, L Newell 2.49.20, N Browne 2.50.19, E Ferguson (V45) 3.09.00, N Hamilton (V50) 3.19.33, S Matthews (LV40) 3.29.40, K Dixon (V40) 3.42.27, D Berger (V50) 3.44.09, P Wilson (LV50) 4.21.41, J Cousin (LV45) 4.26.19.
Alchester: R Gould (V40) 2.46.25, J Nelson (V50) 2.58.13, I Hunter 2.58.34.
Didcot Runners: P Griffiths (V45) 3.10.19, R Sharp (V45) 3.13.29, K Reade (LV35) 3.27.23, S Howes 3.44.23, E Naughton (SL) 3.47.00, J Linthwaite (SL) 5.38.44, J Humphrey (LV40) 7.50.31.
Eynsham RR: D Bridges (LV40) 3.22.21 pb & club record, N Clark (V50) 3.34.08, K Williamson (2nd LV65) 3.41.09, S Walker (V40) 4.07.10, K Kavanagh (SL) 4.30.57, J Bishop (LV40) 4.37.34, S Butler (V45) 5.00.57, E Butler (LV40) 5.47.52.
Kidlington: J Moss (V40) 3.22.13, S Evins 3.38.12, R Young 5.24.26.
Oxford City: J Richardson (V40) 2.44.31, S Male (V45) 2.47.54, H Van Zyl (V50) 2.57.06, A Ali (V50) 3.24.21, C Winton (SL) 3.57.44, P Kimber (V65) 4.17.14.
White Horse Harriers: D Peace 2.57.17, J Lawton (V40) 3.45.08.
Witney RR: J Young 2.49.24, T Jones 2.56.53, G Petts 2.57.39, A Reynolds (V50) 3.11.02, K Lainsbury (SL) 3.27.51, L McArthur (LV40) 3.46.45, H Smith (LV45) 3.54.26, A Church (V45) 3.54.26, A Greasby (LV40) 3.55.59, C Strange (LV40) 3.57.30, N Henman (SL) 4.05.38, N Basson 4.28.54, T Moss (LV40) 4.41.15, L Jones 4.41.15.
Woodstock H: J Bolton 2.42.52, B O’Connor (V40) 2.42.56, M Ibison 3.08.26.