november 2018

Marathon man Paul’s personal best

While this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon saw Wilson Kipsang win the race in a new record time of two hours, four minutes and 29 seconds, there are those who claim that his impressive feat was, in part, prompted by the challenge of a novice runner who was running his first ever marathon.

As runner number 35553, ME Construction’s Paul Driver posted the creditable time of three hours, 47 minutes and 21 seconds to claim his first marathon medal. In the process, he ended the race in just 632nd place among men in his age group. He finished in 6,819th place in the men’s race and in 8,389th place overall.

This result put Paul a mere 99 minutes exactly behind the best placed British runner in the race: the Olympic champion, Mo Farah.

Although he was delighted by his result and, indeed, by the whole race-day experience, Paul had a more serious motive for competing in, and completing, the race. Last year, his mother died of a heart attack. So Paul ran this year’s marathon to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in her memory.

Paul hoped to raise £2,000 for this charity but the final total from his efforts on London’s streets in April has amounted to some £4,000 – which is just as impressive a result as Paul achieving his personal best time in the race.

‘ME Construction’s Forrest Gump’ is already in the ballot to compete in next year’s London Marathon.

He commented: “It was a great day and a great experience this year. The weather wasn’t too hot, the crowds were amazing and the atmosphere was huge.

“As long as you keep your body well hydrated, the much-talked-about ‘Wall’ is a myth,” he added. “About miles 19 and 20, I noticed that my legs were a bit tired but then the crowd and the atmosphere of the whole event kept me going until I reached the end.

“This year was my first marathon – but now I can’t wait to do it all again!”