The men’s race
Jones wins epic duel
Steve Jones proved himself a mighty marathon talent when he won the 1984 Chicago race in a world best time of 2:08:05. He came to London as favourite even though he found himself up against the 1984 champion and now Olympic bronze medallist Charlie Spedding. The race turned out to be a duel in the sun.
The leading pack reduced gradually as the race progressed. At 15 miles there were 6, by 20 miles there were just Jones and Spedding. At the Tower of London, Jones stopped off briefly to rid himself of stomach cramps and, just as Spedding thought he had made the decisive break, Jones was back with him and past him. His winning time – 2:08:16 – remained the course record until 1997. Spedding in 2nd place secured the English record with 2:08:33, a time which still stands. Allister Hutton in 3rd place improved his personal best by almost 7 minutes. Henrik Jorgensen was 5th.
The women’s race
Kristiansen records again
Ingrid Kristiansen benefited from a mixed field – the 1984 experiment of having women start 10 minutes ahead of the men was abandoned – and she proved that the London course was fast by recording a world best 2:21:06, a record which stood for 13 years. In a fabulous women’s race, Sarah Rowell captured the UK record with 2:28:06 in 2nd while Sally-Ann Hales ran 2:28:38 in 3rd, a personal best by more than 11 minutes.
The wheelchair race
Thrilling win for Hallam
Following Steve Jones’ win in the main event, Chris Hallam made it a Welsh double by taking the men’s wheelchair race after a 26 mile, wheel-to-wheel battle with Irishman Gerry O’Rourke. The 22 year old from Gwent knocked 20 minutes from the British record and 24 from his own personal best in 2:19:53.
Ireland’s Kay McShane retained her women’s title, improving her best by almost a minute as she beat 20 year old Josie Cichokyj in 2:55:44. 25 of the 33 finishers set new personal bests.