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Frome runners go dutch for autumn challenge

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

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More than a dozen members of Frome Running Club travelled across the channel to take part in the 37th Amsterdam Marathon and Half Marathon.

In perfect running conditions, the marathon runners had an unforgettable start to the race as they set off from the venue built to host the 1928 Olympic Games.

The scenic route took them past several famous landmarks before finishing in the stadium, with friends and family from Frome among the crowd.

Robin-Mark Schols set a PB of 3hrs 7mins 43secs to earn a qualifying spot for his age group at next year's London Marathon. Ian Holmes was close behind in 3:12:38, while Marcus Gaffney went round in a new best time of 3:44:42.

Jacqui Betts broke her PB by a big margin with a time of 3:54:35 and John Boulton also broke his best in 4:40:14. Anne Porter recorded a debut time of 4:49:36 and Nicola Player completed her final competitive long-distance race in 5:18:57.

In the Amsterdam Half Marathon, Frome runners again registered some competitive results and plenty of personal bests.

Ali Smith was first home for the club in 1:43:29 and afterwards announced that it was his last major competitive outing.

Lucy Gaffney and Judy Bryant crossed the line close together in 1:58:12 and 1:58:35 respectively to set new PBs, while racing couple Mandy and Mark Aston finished in 2:02:11 and a PB of 2:02:20.

Debbie Roberts followed them into the stadium five minutes later in 2:07:07, Tony Blatchford recorded 2:22:56 and Dawn Prior set a new best time of 2:22:57.

Closer to home, Dan Berryman was first home for Frome at the weekly Southwick Parkrun, completing the 5km race in 20:49.

Chris Stringer finished in 21:11, Damon Lanfear in 21:38, Helen Corbett in 24:22 and Paul Gardner in 26:02.

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