Andrew Maggs breaks three-hour barrier in Amsterdam Marathon
Veteran Andrew Maggs broke through the three-hour marathon barrier for the first time in Amsterdam last Sunday.
The 49-year-old Team Bath athlete, who only made his debut at the distance in the 2011 Brighton Marathon, clocked a superb 2hrs 58mins 59secs to slice more than 18 minutes off the time he managed in Sussex.
"I was hoping to beat three hours but though that was a rather optimistic target so I was quite surprised and very pleased to do it," said Maggs, whose other marathon attempt saw him finish in 3:18.53 in Milton Keynes six months ago.
"This time I managed to get in some longer runs, which I didn't do before, and stayed injury and niggle-free so was able to enjoy a couple of good months of training.
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"I have also learnt a bit more about how to run the race and didn't get too carried away at the start. It all seemed to pay off."
Steve Rose was making his debut in the event and should be pleased with his time of 2:46.02, though his target had been to break 2:45.
His father, David, had a good trip as he won the veterans' over-65s prize in 3:18.56.
Nick Bower also recorded a personal best, taking two minutes off his quickest time with 3:13.33, but Team Bath AC chairman Dave Coales, who was running the race for the second successive year, fell short of his best by five minutes as he crossed the line in 2:43.55.
"It was tough going," admitted Coales.
Oliver Bower came home in 3:49.26, while Dan Jones finished 15th in the half marathon in 74:30, just over a minute outside the PB he set in Wokingham this year.
British international Holly Rush continued her build-up to the Manaslu Mountain Marathon trail race in Nepal next month by finishing as top woman in the new Wadworth Devizes Half Marathon on Sunday.
Rush was fifth overall in a field of 324 finishers after clocking a time of 1:19.44 – just four minutes behind winner Gary O'Brien of Swindon Harriers (1:15.45).
Ruth Barnes, formerly of Avon Valley Runners but now running unattached, did well to finish just over two minutes behind Rush in a personal best of 1:21.58 for eighth place overall.
The top Team Bath representative was August Running Bath competition winner David Vaudin.
Not content to put his feet up after completing the Berlin Marathon in a PB of 2:57.47, the 55-year-old finished seventh in Devizes in his second-quickest time of 81:35 – just 50 seconds outside his PB.
Tom Dudden flew the Team Bath flag at the Stroud Half Marathon and finished tenth in a time of 75:58.
The Chronicle's athletics coverage is sponsored by Running Bath, Bath's specialist running shop. Catering for runners of all abilities, from complete beginners to experienced athletes, it offers a wide range of running footwear, apparel and accessories.
Visit Running Bath at 18 High Street, Bath, call 01225 462555 or log on to www.runningbath.co.uk.