Marion shines as brothers go head to head in London Marathon

Harriers Jamie Gibson (left) and Ben Gibson (right) along with brother Oli (centre)
Harriers Jamie Gibson (left) and Ben Gibson (right) along with brother Oli (centre)

In the 36th year of the Virgin London Marathon, the Harriers joined more than 30,000 runners, including Dame Kelly Holmes and Top Gear host Chris Evans for the 26.2 mile race past London’s greatest landmarks.

Performance of the day was claimed by Harrier Marion Hemsworth who’s brilliant time of 4:10.41 placed her 13th in her age group. Marion is taking on 65 races in this, her 65th year and it’s fitting that she put in such a great effort on the biggest stage and one of the world’s most famous and colourful races.

In a sibling rivalry as fierce as the Brownlees, Haywards Heath Harriers’ newest members - twins Ben and Jamie Gibson scrapped it out further up the field.

The brothers, clocked superb personal best times, but it was Ben’s turn to get the upper hand and record the fastest Harrier Marathon time this year in 2:43.50 and a top 500 finish amongst a world-class field. Jamie wasn’t far behind, finishing in 2:53.20.

Ben has shown terrific form in recent months, benefitting from his training miles and this was his reward. Despite his new PB, Jamie found it tough going: “I hadn’t managed to get the training miles in, so was pleased with my time and the incredible support from the crowds made for a great day.”

The Gibsons, including other brother Oli raised £2,000 for the Brain & Spine foundation.

The long winter miles, sacrifices and niggling injuries were all worth it as more best times were recorded for the Harriers including terrific performances from Andy Guy (3:09.03), Kat Barrett (3:27.22), Sam Ridley (3:28.25) and Kath Buckeridge.

Natalie Chivers (4:36.53) had a great race given, impressively going faster than her time in the Brighton Marathon last weekend and there were further top performances from Peter Cobbett 4:52.17, Hos Davies 5:02.18, Graham Jenner 3:51.24, David Roper 3:35.43, Alison Shore 6:16.29 and Anthony Wilson 4:23.49.

Jack Chivers’ race was his third marathon in as many weeks having also taken on Manchester and Boston. The miles unsurprisingly took their toll and Jack’s time of 3:40.09 was a way off his best.

The Haywards Heath Harriers 50th Anniversary Open Track & Field Meeting takes place at K2 Athletics Arena, Crawley on Thursday 28th April with the first event starting at 6pm. Further information can be found on the club website

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