Melton runners produce the goods at London Marathon

Chris Southam beat his target tme of 2hr 50min to secure a top 500 finish at the London Marathon. EMN-170205-122712002
Chris Southam beat his target tme of 2hr 50min to secure a top 500 finish at the London Marathon. EMN-170205-122712002

Long Clawson runner Chris Southam had another London Marathon to remember after finishing in the top 500 from a total field of more than 38,000 runners.

The former Stilton Strider, who now runs for Leicester Coritanians, crossed the line in a stunning time of 2hr 44min 13secs for 499th place - and a brilliant 15th in the 50-54 years veterans category.

The Striders quartet of, from left, Michelle Farlow, Vicki Lowe, Liz Goodbourn and Kirsty Black all completed the London Marathon EMN-170205-122702002

The Striders quartet of, from left, Michelle Farlow, Vicki Lowe, Liz Goodbourn and Kirsty Black all completed the London Marathon EMN-170205-122702002

Southam had even questioned whether to enter this year, but was pleased with his change of heart.

“I’ve been struggling a bit for the last couple of years on and off with injuries and changing jobs,” he said.

“I told myself I probably wouldn’t do any more marathons, but this one made number 20 so I had to do it.

“I’m pretty happy with the time as I had to have some time out of training at the end of February due to a chest cold and slight injuries so I was aiming for about 2hr 50min.

Natalie Teece was the first Strider home at the London Marathon in a stunning time EMN-170205-122723002

Natalie Teece was the first Strider home at the London Marathon in a stunning time EMN-170205-122723002

“Getting 2.44 qualifies me for the Championship start next year so maybe one more London!”

There were great runs from all of the Stilton Striders who joined the largest-ever field in the race’s 35-year history.

Good race conditions which became tougher as the temperatures rose, saw Natalie Teece led the Melton club home in a fantastic time of 3hr 7min 47secs to comfortably secure another championship starting place for next year’s marathon.

Natalie was 139th woman to finish and 2,745th overall.

Stuart Shaw clocked 3.09.37, a good for age standard, finishing in the top 3,000 in London EMN-170205-122852002

Stuart Shaw clocked 3.09.37, a good for age standard, finishing in the top 3,000 in London EMN-170205-122852002

Striders clubmate Stuart Shaw was very close behind and clocked 3.09.37, a good for age standard, finishing in the top 3,000 and 393rd in the 45-49 vets age category.

Rob Beers was next home in 3.36.09 followed by excellent runs from Michelle Farlow (3.44.51) and Liz Goodbourn (3.53.34) who both gained personal bests and good for age standard times.

Vicki Lowe crossed the line in 3.58.34, while Kirsty Black, returning to running after two years away, had a great comeback to finish in 4.19.09.

Matt Taylor suffered a bad back during the race, but still completed the 26.2 miles in 4.19.31.