LONDON MARATHON EVER PRESENTS - WHAT MAKES THEM SO SPECIAL

02/10/2020 00:00, In Blog /

The first London Marathon took place on a dull damp day - Sunday 29 March, 1981 - great for running, not so for spectating. 6255 runners finished. The race was a spectacular success and changed the image of marathon running forever. Interest grew dramatically. By the end of the 15th edition in 1995, London Marathon researched how many athletes had completed them all. The answer was 42 - and hence the London Marathon Ever Presents was founded - a club which by definition you cannot join. All 42 were male - not particularly surprising as the number of lady marathoners 4 decades ago was small. After the 39th edition last year, 10 athletes remained with a perfect attendance record.

They are a remarkable group. Not only are they survivors, they are all excellent athletes. In 1981, 21% of all finishers bettered 3 hours. 23 of the original 42 achieved this mark, including  6 of the remaining 10. All 10 have PBs inside 3 hours, including half under 2:40. Jeff Aston's 2:29:34 makes him the second fastest of the group, only a minute behind the youngster, Chris Finill, who has achieved a sub 3 hour clocking on all but two of the 39 races. At the other end of the age spectrum, Ken Jones is 86, and achieved his 2:55:38 PB at age 51.

Bill O'Connor isn't even the fastest in his family - his younger sister Mary finished second to Grete Waitz in both the 1983 and 1986 editions of the London Marathon (PB 2:28:20) and represented NZ at the 1984 Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles. We still see Bill and Mary in the Old Shades after each London.

We wish all 10 every success on Sunday 4 October 2020.

Athlete

1981 Time

1981 Age

PB Time (Year)

2019 Time

JEFF ASTON 2:49:53 33 2:29:34 (1983) 7:07:57
CHARLES COUSENS 2:58:13 38 2:55:29 (1983) 6:09:11
CHRIS FINILL 2:32:55 22 2:28:27 (1985) 2:59:46
KEN JONES 3:18:37 47 2:55:38 (1985) 7:40:50
ROGER LOW 2:47:55 37 2:33:47 (1983) 4:53:58
TERRY MACEY 3:17:56 32 2:58:18 (1983) 6:01:22
BILL O’CONNOR 2:35:52 35 2:34:29 (1985) 5:33:13
MIKE PEACE 3:11:45 31 2:38:23 (1991) 4:20:49
MAC SPEAKE 2:47:58 39 2:45:10 (1983) 6:29:28
DAVID WALKER 3:06:11x 35 2:45:48 (1987) 6:22:42

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