It was an arresting performance by Paul Swan to win Sunday’s (28 May) Flying Fox Marathon in Stone, Staffordshire. The Stone Master Marathoner’s victory made a fitting reward on his comeback from a serious injury.
Swan Glides To Victory At Flying Fox Marathon
The 54-year old serving officer with the West Midlands Police entered the race only two days beforehand, hoping to achieve a ‘good for age’ time of 3:20. This was part of his preparation for the 2018 London Marathon and goal of winning the V55 age group.
His training had been going well up until February this year when he ruptured his Achilles tendon while out running resulting in a plaster cast for 10 weeks. Paul’s determination and single-minded approach during his rehabilitation meant he was able to return to training and racing beginning with the Uttoxeter Half Marathon on 30 April.
A marathon was not intially in his plan but a change of heart meant he lined up with the other runners for a 9.30am start from Knighton Social Club. Participants followed a hilly route around quiet country lanes in hot weather, which made for a tough but enjoyable race. Paul was five minutes behind the leader at the halfway point but fought hard to catch him and surged ahead to cross the line in 2:53:27 and 1st M50.
He finished three minutes in front of Craig Pilsbury who came second in 2:56:38 followed by Paul Davies of Centurions RC in 2:58:53.
There was an outstanding display of running by Trentham RC’s Debbie Thomas to win the women’s race in 3:10:07. She finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of runner-up Melanie Staley of Coleridge & Cambridge AC who came home in 3:19:03. Joanne Bentley of host club Stone Master Marathoners completed the podium in 3:22:45.
The race proved small can be beautiful with a vote of thanks to Stone Master Marathoners and everyone involved.
Full results are available on our race listings page.
Photo courtesy of Bernie Priekulis