Cranleigh School runner, Will Barnicoat, continued his recent running success when he took part in the 2018 Mini London Marathon on Sunday.
The Mini London Marathon is a series of 12 races covering different age groups over the last three miles of the London Marathon course involving more than 1,500 of the country’s best 11 to 17-year-old runners, wheelchair racers and ambulant para-athletes.
British marathon runner Callum Hawkins set the young runners on their way from Old Billingsgate before greeting the winners at the Finish Line in The Mall where he presented them with their medals and prizes. The Mini London Marathon, which incorporates the official British Athletics Road Running Championships for young athletes, has long been a seedbed for future internationals, such as Hawkins. Mo Farah, David Weir and Hannah Cockroft all won Mini Marathon titles in their youth before becoming Olympic or Paralympic gold medallists.
Will was representing South East England and reports that he has never felt as nervous before a race as he did on this occasion, largely due to the TV cameras and the huge crowds watching the race. With only five minutes to warm up once they had been released to the start line, it was a scramble to avoid being caught at the back of the pack. Will’s experience, however, saw him jostle his way to the front before nearly coming to grief as the start gun went off and several runners ended up on the floor. The chaotic start meant that by half way through the race the two front runners were well established and Will was involved in the battle for third place. As the finish line approached, and with legs becoming more and more tired on the road surface, Will was overtaken for third but held on for fourth place, a result he said he was delighted with as he does feel he runs much better on grass.