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Marathon challenge

Friday 23 April 2010

This Sunday's Virgin London Marathon features a strong Cardiff trio tackling the world's greatest race and bidding for Commonwealth Games qualifying times. Richie Gardiner (pictured in last year's race) and Nat Lane are both experienced marathon runners and are joined by outstanding young runner Simon Lawson, returning to competition in his debut at the marathon distance. All three will be chasing the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 2:19.40, and beyond that the 2:18 mark required for European Championships consideration.

Richie perhaps starts with the upper hand, having bettered the 2.19.40 mark in 2006, but not recently enough to be automatically considered for the Delhi event in October. Nat on the other hand has shown the better form of late as Richie has been suffering with breathing problems which he hopes are now behind him.

If all three run well, then the chance of a national team title is very realistic. 

It is good to welcome Simon back to serious competition  after his threatened retirement from the sport. Hopefully his injury problems are behind him and he will run well enough to encourage him to continue in athletics and to fully realise his undoubted potential.

Good luck to all three as well as to other Cardiff runners taking part on Sunday.