Southam’s London Marathon bid hit by mystery symptoms

Stilton Striders who ran the London Marathon, from left, Wayne Hackett, Richard Gray, Kirsty Ainscough, Gary Postle
Stilton Striders who ran the London Marathon, from left, Wayne Hackett, Richard Gray, Kirsty Ainscough, Gary Postle
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A TOP 250 finish in the London Marathon would be beyond the wildest dreams of most runners, but Stilton Strider Chris Southam is not most runners.

The Long Clawson runner has a stunning record in the London Marathon with four finishes in the top 100 of the world’s biggest marathon.

Southam was on course for a similar position at the race’s halfway mark, reaching 13 miles just 20 seconds outside his target time of 1hr 16min 30secs.

But a sudden attack of pins and needles forced him to stop and wrecked the following 10 miles, preventing him from reaching his target time of 2hr 35mins.

He was bitterly disappointed with his time of 2.41.48 which made him 221st overall and 10th in his 45 to 49 years vets age category.

He said: “I suddenly got pins and needles in my arms, hands and feet which was worrying so I thought I’d better be safe than sorry and stop. After that it was hard to keep going and I had to keep stopping and starting.

“Strangely I started feeling better at about 23 miles and got back into my right pace again.

“I’ve no idea what caused it. It was just one of those things that can go wrong on the day.”

While Southam would normally concentrate on one marathon a year, he is planning a second assault on the 26.2-mile distance in the autumn, possibly at Leicester in September.

He said; “It wasn’t a bad time, but I was expecting something similar to last year, but it didn’t work out.

“It’s disappointing. You put a lot into training and think it’s all going okay, but this year it didn’t work out.

“I’m going to try and do another marathon this year because I’m not happy. There is unfinished business and I’d like to get this out of my system.”

There was better news for Chris’ daughter Jasmin who was called into the East Midlands team for the Mini London Marathon for the second year running. Tackling the last three miles of the famous course, Jasmin clipped 50 seconds off last year’s time.

The first Melton runner home in th big race was Andy Mason in 175th overall after clocking a brilliant time of 2.39.58.

The former King Edward VII School pupil now works as project manager for Airbus in Hamburg, Germany, but his family home remains in Melton.

Richard Gray was the next Stilton Strider to cross the line, finishing in an excellent 3hr 19min 43secs, while for clubmate Gary Postle, just making the starting line was a triumph in itself.

Last year he was forced to pull out at the 11th hour with illness, but this year the months of training were rewarded with a great time of 3.28.15.

Kirsty Ainscough was the Striders’ only lady to enter and dipped under the crucial four-hour mark by 36 seconds, while Wayne Hackett completed the course in 4.19.41.