The men’s race
Spedding on Olympic trail
The London Marathon, now sponsored by Mars, was the Olympic trial for British runners. But it was two Tanzanians, Juma Ikangaa and Zakaria Barie, who took an early lead, forcing Gateshead club mates Charlie Spedding and Kevin Forster to play a waiting game. The Tanzanians’ huge lead was reduced little by little as they suffered from the scorching early pace. Spedding and Forster reaped the benefits. They caught them at 16 miles and it was Spedding who took the initiative, setting out on a lonely run for the finish.
Spedding crossed the line, tired but elated with his second marathon victory in two attempts in 2:09:57. He went on to win a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics. Forster was 2nd over a minute behind. Ikangaa was 6th, Barie 51st.
The women’s race
Record for Kristiansen
At 20 miles Spedding caught Norway’s Ingrid Kristiansen, who was on her way to winning the women’s race after a 10 minute start on the men. Kristiansen’s winning time was 2:24:26, a European record. Priscilla Welch was 2nd, Sarah Rowell 3rd, and they joined Joyce Smith in Britain’s Olympic women’s team.
The wheelchair race
Here come the Irish
Records fell in the second London Wheelchair Marathon as organisers allowed the competitors to ‘front start’. Kevin Breen, a 29 year old from Dublin, clipped his personal best by 4 seconds to win the men’s race in 2:38:40, beating Mick Karaphillides who broke the British record with 2:44:31. Karaphillides’ chair broke at 11 miles but he still beat defending champion Gordon Perry who was 3rd, 41 seconds behind.
Kay MacShane from Cork was the first woman home in 3:10:04, placing 6th overall of the 26 racers, 19 of whom set personal bests. MacShane’s time was a British All-Comers’ record. Denise Smith was 2nd, disappointed to lose her title but glad to finish after racing on a punctured tyre for more than half the race.