Woodbridge Shufflers Marathon Report

April was a bumper marathon month for the Woodbridge Shufflers with no less than 16 club members participating in three fantastic events.

Brighton Marathon ‘scorcher’ – 9th April 2017

In Brighton, the following seven Shufflers completed the 26.2 mile route on the hottest day of the year with temperatures hitting 20C!

  • Paul Wright
  • Nancy Wright
  • Alastair Bartlett
  • Gemma Gilbert
  • Melanie Roberts
  • Benjamin Solway
  • Steve Whittaker

London Marathon – 23rd April 2017

The Woodbridge Shufflers at London were:

  • Dave Alley
  • Sarah Cousins
  • Ian Coxall
  • Richard Dempsey
  • Matthew Hunt
  • Paul Nickells
  • Sam Chater

This group was a mix of first-time marathoners and seasoned long distance runners. There was also some impressive fundraising going on, with Dave, Sarah, Richard and Sam running for Mind & The Teenage Cancer Trust, the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, Woodbridge Primary School and Ormiston Families respectively.

Richard Dempsey on his post-run experience:

“Physically I’m a wreck in this but just wanted say that the crowd and the thought of letting everyone down especially after all the support I had drove me to the end.
A hug from my sister with 600m to go actually made me cry a little!”

Thanks to Richard’s fundraising efforts, local primary Woodbridge Primary will be able to continue to offer ‘Bikeability’ for Years 5 and 6 and swimming lessons for Y6 in 2017 – well done Rich!

Ian Coxall reports back:

“Really pleased to be back following my foot operation in November. It was my 4th London and probably my proudest. Only having completed one 20m run after a 6-week programme I’m delighted to run 3:19. It was my 18th Marathon in all and it gave me a really good benchmark for Chicago in October.”

Dave Alley, an ultra runner but first time London Marathoner, sums it all up…

“Amazing!  The sights, the sounds and the supportive crowds made it a race to remember.  The spectators made it a fantastic experience, and made every runner feel like they were an Olympic champion.  It really felt like being at the centre of a major sporting event – which I guess it was.”

With his dedicated training regime, Dave completed the course in the exact time he’d planned – spurred on by an unlikely pal…

“For me the event went to plan, and I managed to sustain a fairly even pace of around 8:10 per mile.  It was great to have my family racing around London to shout encouragement when they spotted me.  Unfortunately a guy in a lobster suit outran me, but this gave my family advanced warning that I was about to appear.  If they saw the lobster, I would be close behind.  It was a huge boost to see them cheering me on, despite playing second fiddle to an outsized Crayfish.  In fact, the whole crowd was fantastic, with cheers of “go for it Dave” every 100 metres or so.   It really gave me a massive lift to my running mojo.”


Matt Hunt on his fourth London marathon – and second as a Shuffler:

“After suffering from a hamstring injury last September through to early February this year I was ecstatic to run down the mall and achieve another sub 2:45 finish after a 10 week training program. Perfect conditions and amazing support as usual. Well done to all the other Shufflers who ran.”

Suffolk Heritage Coastal – 30th April 2017

And finally: Carina Sewell and Frank Holmes completed the Heritage Coastal Marathon, taking on a beautiful but challenging route featured pebbled beach, shaded woods and gorse-filled paths.

To sum it up, a few words from Shufflers team captain and former London Marathon entrant, Kathryn Gerry:

Well done everyone.  Running a marathon is not easy.  It takes training, dedication, sacrifice, determination and a certain level of craziness!