Sports

Laura Joins London Elite

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Laura Joins London Elite thumbnail LAURA Graham ran along with the best at the London Marathon on Sunday.

LAURA Graham had an outstanding run in Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon, joining 39,400 other athletes in the 26.2-mile journey from Blackheath to Westminster.

The Kilkeel mother-of-four clocked a stunning 2.42.38 but didn't quite achieve her aim of breaking 2.40 and earning a qualifying spot in qualifying for the World or Commonwealth Games.

Nonetheless the astonishing 31-year-old, with a pb of 2.41.54, posted last year in Dublin, had a race to remember. Laura, currently the Irish Marathon champion, began as part of an elite 32-strong ladies field, rubbing shoulders with the likes of race winner Mary Keitany who broke the world record for an all-ladies race with a 2.17.01 time.

Also in that Elite Ladies start were Olympic gold medallists, world record-holders and indeed included in that massively-talented group were the best marathon runners on the planet.

Speaking to the Democrat the always-modest and self-depreciating Laura said: "I felt I shouldn't have been there. But I met this Cornwall girl Eleanor Davis (with a pb of 2.42.38) at the start and we agreed that we would run together. We did this until 15 miles when she dropped out. I was so disappointed for her and nearly cried."

“After two miles my foot started to hurt and when I took my shoe off at the finish I found I had a blood blister. But it burst and it's ok now.

“Still I was going fine until mile 21 when I felt dizzy and I struggled over the last miles. I felt I messed it up. I was so disappointed at the finish at not getting a personal best that I cried. Still I'm relieved it's over. There was a lot of pressure on me."

Laura has no reason in the world for feeling she 'messed it up.' As always the Mourne Runner gave everything. She had a magnificent race and beat some of the best athletes in the world. Olympic gold medallist Joe Pavey dropped out and Laura was nearly seven minutes quicker that Chrissie Wellington, who won the Hawaiian Ironman world championship four times and is commonly acknowledged as being the best female triathlete of all-time.

And the Kilkeel rocket intends to run the Belfast Marathon on this Bank Holiday Monday.

Meanwhile, Dermot Mathers also had a super outing in London, the running coach proving that even-paced strategy works. Dermot ran 1.25.20 for the first 13.1 miles before sizzling to a personal best time of 2.51.54.

Barry McCarroll too had an excellent race in the English capital, the Slieve Gullion Runner cracking the magic three-hour barrier with a super 2.58.36.

It wasn't just so magical for his Slieve Gullion club-mate and triathlete Seamus Loughran who had a great run and grabbed a personal best - but his time of 3.00.09 was agonisingly the wrong side of three hours.

Another who cracked three-hours was Newry City Runner Miceal Dillon with a 2.58.04 clocking, while Damian Mulholland also finishing sub three hours with a fine 2:59:54.

 

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