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Taylor zips along

PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 07:42 01 August 2010

Bungay Black Dog runner Ian Taylor competed in the Lee Valley Trail Marathon, along with 150 runners, and achieved his first sub-three hour timing.

They ran along the towpath of the River Lee Navigation from St Margarets, Hertfordshire to Hackney Marshes, East London, close to the site of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Bungay Black Dog runner Ian Taylor competed in the Lee Valley Trail Marathon, along with 150 runners, and achieved his first sub-three hour timing.

They ran along the towpath of the River Lee Navigation from St Margarets, Hertfordshire to Hackney Marshes, East London, close to the site of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

The course included a large loop around the former gravel workings at Cheshunt which have been transformed into a country park with lakes.

Taylor, who grew up in Cheshunt, has many happy memories from the 1970s of running around this area when it formed part of his school PE cross-country course.

A confident start from Taylor saw him move into third place in the opening 500m which he then maintained throughout the race! He was never challenged and after the first four miles no-one else was in sight over his shoulder.

With a keen headwind, no mileposts, very few marshals and spectators - especially in the last six miles - Taylor had to stay focused to finish in an excellent time of 2hr 57min 04sec.

His first sub-three hour marathon, this was eight minutes faster and five places higher in the results table compared to his performance in last year's race.

It was also three minutes faster than his time in the 2008 London Marathon. Taylor has now been awarded a 2009 London Marathon place based on his performance.

Three Bungay Black Dogs escaped the monsoon weather conditions on Sunday and made the long trip to Newcastle to take part in the Great North Run.

With a field of 52,000 this is the biggest road race in the world.

In direct contrast to the awful day down here, the race was held in perfect running conditions: blue skies, a temperature of 12C and gentle north-easterly breeze.

First home was Colin Whale, preparing himself for the Snowdonia Marathon in two weeks' time, where, no doubt the climatic conditions will not be quite the same. He finished in a time of 1-55:52 (10, 086th) followed by Robin Farrar in 1-58:05 (11,543rd). Although they were only separated by just over two minutes, there were almost a further 1,500 runners finishing in that short time.

The third Black Dog was Doreen Whittington in 2-40:08 (31,614th).

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