SIX intrepid competitors from Pickering Running Club joined 45,000 others in the first ever Virtual London Marathon earlier this month.

Runners could choose their own route which they recorded using the London Marathon app while legends Paula Radcliffe and Steve Cram offered virtual encouragement

Simon Jones chose a relatively flat local route finishing in a very speedy 3 hours 35mins (3:35). Alison Hyde ran a circular route on the roads around Elvington finishing very strongly in 4:23 despite her preference for off-road running.

Kate Towse chose a hilly circuit around Malton and Coneysthorpe and recorded a time of 4:37.

Nicola Wise chose to run from Settrington to Filey Bay into a strong easterly wind and, in spite of the conditions, ran 4:41.

Shawn Imeson certainly didn’t make it easy for himself by running from Malton to Sleights. With over 2,000 feet of elevation, Imeson achieved his goal in 5:17.

Jade Barraclough also chose a challenging route around Rosedale which included the notorious Chimney Bank climb. She finished in a very creditable 7:31.

The Fadmoor 10k - a hilly, muddy and challenging mixed terrain race - also took place earlier this month.

The first runner back for Pickering Running Club was Ben Myers in an amazing 39 minutes 36 seconds (39:36), bagging him third-place in the overall standings.

He was closely followed by Simon Rycroft in 41:45 and Douglas Lacey, in his first race for Pickering, in 43:50, The pair finished fifth and sixth overall respectively.

As runners were set off in groups of six to comply with COVID recommendations, it was difficult for runners to tell how close they were to their rivals during the race. Kelly Gaughan was first lady back for Pickering in an very competitive 50:24. Mike Hetherton crossed the line in 58:00 earning him a first in category. Debbie Rycroft, finding her form again after recent injuries, finished strongly in 68:07.