London Marathon

22nd April 2018 London

Congratulations to Kevin Seville 3:19, Jonathan Samuel 3:54 in competing in this years London Marathon the hottest on record. Jonathan commented it was the hardest marathon he had ever done!

Great effort chaps!

Congratulations are due to Mo Farrah for breaking the British Record in the Marathon on Sunday in London. In difficult conditions it was a fantastic run to finish third in a world class field. The record Mo took belonged to Stephen Henry Jones, a life member and the patron of Newport Harriers Athletics Club and had stood for 33 years. Steve was born and brought up in Ebbw Vale and became a member of Newport Harriers in the 1970s. He was an aircraft technician in the RAF at St Athan, a job he continued to do throughout his athletics career.

Steve competed at the highest level, winning 9 cross country championships and a bronze medal in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in a time of 28 minutes 02.48 seconds. Steve's best for that distance (27m 39.14s) still ranks him in the top 10 UK all time 10000 metres and would runners and is the Welsh record and would have been good enough for 5th place in the Gold Coast in 2018. It is also worth noting that more than 10 of the top 20 10,000 metre runners in the UK were around when Steve was competing over that distance.

During his career Steve broke both the World Marathon and World half marathon records on his way to winning countless road races over distances from 10 miles up to the full marathon distance, winning 5 major marathons packed with world class athletes. Steve's British record that fell to Mo Farrah at 2 hours 7 minutes 13 seconds was only one second slower than the world record set by Carlos Lopes of Spain a few months earlier. Given that Steve never wore a watch, relying on his own pace judgement this was a remarkable feat and begs the question would he have regained the world record if he had used a watch to aid him over the last few kilometres?

Mo Farrah's time of 2 hours 06.21 seconds is a superb new British record, but ranks him 225th on the world all time list. Steve's best time now ranks him 457th on the world all time list. A measure of how the event has moved on since Steve's day. The names that surround both athletes are legends of he sport. Steve in his day helped elevate the profile of athletics and road running in much the same way as Mo is today. Two superb athletes who have done Britain proud and Newport Harriers are proud of their Ebbw Vale born superstar."

#NewportHarriers #VLM #London #Marathon #SteveJones #MoFarah #BritishRecord

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Hilary Goodger
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