Marathon man going the distance

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Spectators watch as London Marathon competitors run past Spectators watch as London Marathon competitors run past

Running log

Marcin Soszka, a newcomer to Bradford, notched his 30th capital marathon in London on Sunday.

The distance specialist now has 20 to go to reach his target of being the first person ever to have completed a marathon in every European capital city.

Last year Soszka ran Dublin, Reykjavik, Kiev, Brussels, Liechtenstein (Vaduz) and Skopje in Macedonia. This year he has raced already in the Maltese capital of Valetta – and has clocked up 11,000 miles in training.

His London time of 2hr 46min 26sec came despite setting off too fast, with the first 5K at 2:26 pace and reaching halfway at 2:35 pace.

As with everyone, including Britain’s world and Olympic track champion Mo Farah, the stretch from 25 miles proved a struggle.

Soszka explained: “I came to Bradford to be with my girlfriend, who is working here, and I have found a job in a factory through an agency.”

The hard days of graft tire him out, which makes it difficult to train well after work.

But as Soszka says: “I need the money for my dreams – racing the marathons and the travel – so I won’t give up.”

Spen runner Kevin Ogden did even better, clocking 2:37:27 to be 15th over-40 and 128th male finisher overall. Stu Macdonald (Bingley) was close behind but had to drop out after 25K.

Nicola Green of Ilkley was fourth woman over-40 (26th overall) as she perfectly paced herself to 2:53:56.

Clubmate Sally Malir was 16th in her over-45 category in 3:09:36. Derek Oliver (45th M50, 2:57:33), David Merrick (89th M50, 3:03:42) and Val Kerr (59th F55, 3:58:00) were also top-100 finishers for the club.

Gill Jones (Eccleshill Road Runners) managed the same feat, being 87th F60 in 4:55:54. Team-mate Gary Scott was also pleased with his 2:58:17.

Hannah Oldroyd of Saltaire ran a huge personal best, running a negative split and steady splits throughout. She just failed to duck under three hours, by 45 seconds, but was 75th woman overall.

Leon Winder of Idle was only four seconds slower, thanks to a terrific final mile.

Clare Stevens (Keighley & Craven) was 35th woman in her over-45 age-group in 3:16:01, while Debbie Bland of Baildon was 26th in the over-60 category after timing 4:09:33.

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