Virgin London Marathon - Mini Marathon
Extract from the ChronicleLive Report
THIRTY of the region’s endurance young athletes tasted the exciting atmosphere of the Virgin London Marathon when they travelled to the capital to compete in the Mini Marathon.
It was a tremendous experience for them running over the final three miles of the world’s leading event, where the youngsters were cheered every step of the way from Old Billingsgate Market to The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The North East had teams in all six age groups and were up against eight other England regions as well as squads from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
An early morning call from their Surrey base saw all the teams travel in convoy to the start, where the weather conditions were near perfect.
he North East looked to have made the best possible start in the 10-12-year-old boys’ race when Teessider Ben Spencer appeared to have beaten all his rivals when he stopped at what appeared to be the finishing gantry.
As the first two athletes stopped to congratulate each other, the rest of the field swept past the duo with officials frantically shouted they still had around 600 metres to go. However, despite the disappointment, Spencer, the North East cross-country champion, chased after the leaders and eventually made it on to the podium by finishing in third place.
Running for New Marske representing the North East in the U15 Boys were Reece Curtis with an excellent 29th in 16:00 and Hassan Ben-Tiba 47th in 16:17. In the U13 Girls, Frances Bell was 55th in 19:33. Well done to them all.