The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon was run last night (28 April) and Australia set it’s mark with eight athletes competing in the Gold Label Road Running event.
Sinead Diver, Brett Robinson and Jack Rayner competed in the elite women’s and men’s race, whilst Madison de Rozario, Eliza Ault-Connell, Michael Roeger, Christie Dawes and Matt Felton raced in the 2019 World Para Athletics Marathon Championship (incorporated in the London Marathon).
Sinead Diver was the best of the elite Aussies finishing in seventh place with a time of 2:24.11, which was a personal best by 1:08 minutes. The run was also a Tokyo 2020 marathon qualifying time.
Diver’s time elevated her to the third fastest in Australian history and the fastest by an Australian for over 12 years.
Brett Robinson, in just his second marathon start, and Jack Rayner on debut, fought hard over the final stages to place 13th and 14th in the elite field with times of 2:10.55 & 2:11.06.
Robinson’s time was the fastest by an Australian for 15 years and pushed him to number 11 Australian all-time, while Rayner missed by six seconds in become the fastest Australian on debut.
Both the runs are Olympic qualifying runs (standard is 2:11.30).
The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon doubled as the World Para Athletics Marathon Championship.
Michael Roeger smashed the men’s T46 world record clocking 2:22:51 in only his second ever marathon, having made his debut over the distance in Melbourne last October.
The 30-year-old was hampered by cramp in the closing stages of his debut and it wasn’t easy for him this time either, which made victory all the sweeter.
“I guess goal number one was to win and goal number two was to PB,” said the satisfied Australian afterwards. “I did both those.
“The London Marathon, the IPC [World Para Athletics], they’ve put on a great event and I feel very grateful to be here. The crowd the whole way was unreal – it’s giving me goose bumps just thinking about it.”
Madison De Rozario finished in third in 1:49.43, Eliza Ault-Connell in fourth in 1:40.02 , Christie Dawes in 11th in 1:56.16 and Matt Felton in sixth (T46) in 2:45.33.