AFTER the disappointment of the Bath half marathon where a flu bug forced Vale of Aylesbury’s Anuradha Cooray to drop out after just four miles, the Maidenhead 10-miler was the polar opposite.
Almost fully recovered, Cooray took to the streets in good running conditions and won the Maidenhead race in a new club record of 49:49 – one and a half minutes faster than his 2010 time.
This beats former club member and GB athlete Gordon Rimmer’s 1997 time of 50 minutes, set at Barnet in 1977.
Just as important for Cooray, is that it is perfect preparation for his run in the London Marathon later this month.
Cooray is hoping to run an Olympic qualifying time of 2:18 in London. He has run 42 seconds outside that time this year and still may qualify for the Sri Lanka team without it, but understandably would like his fate to be in his own hands.
Back to Maidenhead and another brilliant performance from stalwart V55 runner Paul Gregory saw him finish the race in 56:06, 20th place overall from more than 800 runners.
Paul has been injured and the performance comes as a real boost for him and the club with the runner back in such top form.
The time makes him seventh fastest all time V55 runner in the UK 10 mile rankings.
Other Vale runners also fared well. Charlie May finished 18th in 56, just 22 seconds outside his PB.
Meanwhile, newcomers Sean Wilson and Debbie Channer ran brilliantly as Sean finished 41st with a PB by almost five minutes (59:31) and Debbie’s PB was almost four minutes better than his previous best – finishing in exactly the same time as Ian Thompson (1:09:32).
Ian and Jo Card, both in training for London, ran their first 10 mile race.
Henrik Hartman finished not far behind Ian in 1:10:22 and the Vale contingent was completed by Steve Rooney (1:13:15) and Roger Kirk (1:21:13).