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Record Breaking London Marathon for St Mary’s Athletes

Charlie Purdue crossing finish line at athetlics event
Image: St Mary's Alumna, Charlie Purdue
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Athletes and alumni of St Mary’s University, Twickenham continued the University’s strong history in the London Marathon, smashing a number of personal bests in the 2021 race.

BA History and Endurance Performance Centre (EPC) alumna Charlie Purdue smashed her previous Personal Best (PB) by over two minutes, completing the race in 2:23:26. Charlie finished as the first placed British woman, and tenth place overall in the elite women’s race and now sits third on the all-time British Marathon record, just 14 seconds behind fellow EPC Alumna Mara Yamauchi. Her performance met the qualification time for next year’s Commonwealth Games, and automatically qualifies her for next year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, USA.

Charlie was joined in the elite women’s race by St Mary’s student and EPC athlete Becky Briggs, who finished as the fifth-placed British woman, and 18th in the overall race. Becky completed the course in 02:34:34 to set a new pb, over four minutes faster than her previous best time and just missing out on the qualification time for the Commonwealth Games.

Current student Luke Reeves and alumna Lucy Rochford also made their marathon debuts, completing in 02:46:25 and 03:16:20 respectively. Alumnus and three-time Olympic Medallist Moe Sbihi MBE also took part for Sports Aid, completing the race in 3:25:55.

In September, St Mary’s athletes and alumni also put in strong performances in the Manchester 10k Road Race. Hosted on 26th Sept, the race saw Alumnus Jack Rowe take the Bronze Medal in 28.06, ranking him 17th on the UK all-time list. Alumnus Daniel Jarvis also set a new PB in 29:22 to finish 12th and student Henry McLuckie made his 10k debut, finish in 21st in a time of 30:36.

Speaking of the results, Head of Sport St Mary’s Andrew Reid-Smith said, “These represent an outstanding set of results by St Mary’s EPC runners past and present.

“This year’s London Marathon was significant for seeing the return of mass participation, and it was great to see so many from St Mary’s involved. Charlie’s run was magnificent, often running on her own to reclaim third on the all-time list shows how strong she is over this distance. Becky in only her second marathon continues to demonstrate her exciting potential, and for a world-class rower to complete the course as quickly as Moe did is an incredible effort. These performances came just after the Manchester 10k and following on from Jack’s successful indoor season, he’s been running brilliant on the road. Great to see and well done to all the St Mary’s runners.”

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