One week before the London Marathon hogs the limelight, some Garden City Runners were running the distance in the north-west.

The Manchester Marathon had seen four plan to run but only three managed it, Russell Morris forced to pull out with a late foot injury.

But that still left a plucky trio and that were led in by Lizzie Parry, whose finishing time of two hours 57 minutes 26 seconds was four seconds quicker than that of Chris Baylis.

Katharine Farrell completed the course in 3:50:13 but that was just part of a huge personal milestone.

"Manchester was my first marathon," she said. "It was a lovely course, pretty flat and with plenty of support.

"My time was perfect for the pacing plan I'd written the day before.

"When I joined GCR 18 months ago, I said I'd never run a marathon but I've been inspired each week to sign up for one.

"Thank you for all the runners I've dragged out with me on training runs in the past few months and all the runners I've been pestering for advice on marathon training."

Others from the club took on slightly shorter 5k parkruns, 82 of them in total.

Close to half of them were at the home run at Panshanger, completing the cow course, and there were top-10 places for Tom Buzzard (second), Chris Eland (fourth), Rob Casserley (fifth) and Justin Hill (10th).

Elsewhere James Huish won at Beatrixpark in the Netherlands while Martha Hall was the first lady at Stevenage, Chris Jones coming fifth overall.


Bruce Judge was second at Westmill with Jennifer Williams the fourth lady.

Two popular runs are looming on the horizon.

The Kimpton Fun Run, part of the May festival, is on Monday, May 1, while the Welwyn 10k takes place in Panshanger Park on June 25.