Hastings ace defies sickness to finish in London Marathon top 30

A Hastings Athletic Club talent defied sickness to achieve a top 30 finish in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 4:18 pm
Ross Skelton finished 30th in the Virgin Money London Marathon

Ross Skelton, back in a Hastings AC vest from Brighton Phoenix, completed the gruelling 26.2-mile race in a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds despite being sick three times.

He said: “My target time was 2:18 or 2:19; I definitely feel like I’m in that shape. But the marathon is such an unforgiving distance.

See also: * Hastings talents in fine form at Brighton Marathon* Hastings make dominant start to season* Hastings United all set for first ever home play-off tie* Hollington United secure runners-up spot by winning last home game“I was on pace for 2:19 for the majority of the race and then I would say after 16 miles the gels and drinks wouldn’t agree with my stomach.

Rachael Mulvey produced a splendid run to finish inside the three-hour mark

“I was sick three times, which drained me a bit. But I got my head down and really pushed on. A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort in to me, so I kind of did it for them and the town.”

It was Skelton’s first ever marathon having only moved up to half marathon distance last year. He had previously completed two half marathons.

“Ten miles was the furthest I had run two years ago,” he continued. “I think I could have a very good career on the road over the half marathon and marathon distance. It takes time with the marathon, but I definitely feel like it’s my distance now. I had a lot of fun and a lot was learnt.

“I’ve never experienced a race like that before in my life. The spectators definitely lift you when you’re going through a bad patch in the race.”

After an intense 13-week build-up to the London Marathon, Skelton says it’s now time for some enjoyment, reflection on the race and seeing how his body recovers.

The 25-year-old is considering doing an autumn marathon in Germany as he seeks to run the time required to earn an England vest of 2:21, which he feels he is definitely capable of doing.

“It’s now about putting plans into motion and doing the little things that make such a difference in the marathon,” Skelton added.

“For any athlete, if you’re aspiring to be anything, the aim is definitely to run for your country. That’s definitely my objective. I know I’m going to get a vest; it’s just when. And the 30-40 age range is when you start running your best marathons.”

Several other Hastings AC talents performed well in the capital, notably Rachael Mulvey, who finished in the top 100 ladies with a very good time of 2:58.28.

Dan Anderson and James Mountford finished well up the order with times of 2:39.52 and 2:42.15 respectively, while Dave Turner clocked a PB of 3:18.35 and Chris Hawkes ran 3:39.36.

Hastings Half Marathon runner-up Gary Foster, who has done a lot of training with Skelton and was capable of running under 2:30, pulled out in the second half of the race after the pain from a stitch became too much.