• Rose Baker

Rose third in age group at the European Masters Marathon Champs

Updated: Jan 13



In April this year, just before the London Marathon, I finished in third place in a qualifying marathon, gaining a place in the England age groups marathon team. The England age group championships were held at the Chester Marathon at the beginning of October. Having realised that I could also represent GB masters and go to the European masters marathon championships in Poland in mid September, I was determined (against very good advice) to do both. Everyone at Cambridge Harriers was fantastic while I was training, and thanks to Glynis and Chris and all the people I run with I felt in the best shape ever before I flew to Poland. I even sat out park run in Poland the day before the marathon (my son Brett won it, sorry was first finisher, with his broken arm still in plaster – he has yet to sign up to Cambridge Harriers).

Things don’t always go to plan and despite my advice and preparation I was a lot slower than I wanted to be on the day – 3:28 after qualifying in 3:15.59. I had checked the competitors and knew there were nine others in my age who had run under 3:20 this year. I also knew I had overtaken quite a few of them on the route ( the German and Polish ones in the last mile).

After over an hour’s wait, the female masters results were finally announced and I was third in my age group. As the photo shows I was the least dignified recipient of a trophy ever. I literally jumped up and down on the podium and clutched the trophy on my lap all the way home on the plane, even after my disappointing time. GB also won third in the women’s masters team competition. I pretended to be 35 – just like at the vets athletics! I actually couldn’t run when I was 35 so I’m making up for it now.

I would go again, Poland was lovely (and £1:34 for unlimited trams all weekend!). Although it was a lonely and hard marathon. There were very few spectators compared to races in the UK, despite a cash prize for cheering (I think that was what it was, Google translate said it was a doping prize first time I tried it).

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