On a record-breaking day at the Virgin Money London Marathon, Andrew Lawrence
led the five-strong Morpeth Harriers contingent home under grey skies in the capital.
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history and set a new London record
with his time of 2hrs 2mins 38secs as the elite runners made the most of the favourable conditions.
The cool, cloudy and breezy weather was in stark contrast to the unbroken sunshine
and soaring temperatures which had troubled runners in last year’s race.
But Morpeth’s Lawrence couldn’t take advantage and eclipse the personal best of 2hrs 29mins 8secs
that he set in 2015.
Even so, his time of 2hrs 38mins 16secs was his second fastest time around the London course
and 8mins quicker than his 2018 time. He finished 317th in the men’s field.
In the women’s field, Lorna Macdonald was Morpeth’s highest finisher, securing 396th place in a time
of 3hrs 13mins 48secs. It was her sixth attempt at the race where she ran a PB of 2hrs 59mins 24secs back in 2017
Morpeth’s other finishers included Andrew Hebden who, running his final London Marathon as a senior
just a few weeks before his 40th birthday, finished in 2hrs 48mins 15secs (898th place).
The time was just 19secs shy of his marathon PB which he set on the same course in 2016
and was also 8mins faster than his time 12 months earlier.
Hebden was followed home by London debutant Paul Banks, with the V40 runner clocking
an impressive time of 2hrs 56mins 35secs (1,616th place) on his first crack at the 26.2-mile distance.
Completing the line-up of Morpeth runners was Carol Parry who finished in 4hrs 29mins 45secs (6,973rd place).
The podium was made up of Kipchoge and Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew and Mule Washihun,
whilst Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei became the youngest ever female winner at the age of 25.