By Scott Mills
In its 36th year, the London Marathon is still one of the most respected and prestigious races and as one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, it is sure to be a historic one.
After a superb race in Paris with a time of 01:29:25, David Weir CBE – one of Great Britain’s most decorated and successful athletes, will be gunning for a record 7th London Marathon win to bring down the curtain on a remarkable career.
The six-time Paralympic Gold medalist is currently tied on six victories with one of sport’s greatest athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Heading into the event, the Academy’s head coach Jenny Archer MBE feels Weir is currently in a great place and has been extremely pleased with the efforts he has been putting in at training.
When recently asked by the press if she thought he would win, one of athletics’ most successful coaches replied with another typically brilliant but memorable quote.
“No comment,” Archer replied.
“But one thing I will say is that David floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee and I will tell you now if you are racing him you do not want him to sting because he will be lethal.”
Following some great times and races in Lisbon and Boston, the Weir Archer club captain JohnBoy Smith and Canada’s Josh Cassidy are also in great form going into the marathon.
The Academy’s Manchester-based Stuart Bloor is also racing and having battled illness, blisters and bad weather conditions in recent outings to record some great PBs, the Disney fanatic is sure to give it his best shot.
Also among the Academy’s ranks competing in the senior race is Martyna Snopek alongside Sheik Sheik who has trained hard to make his marathon debut in London.
Before what looks to be an exciting day for our senior athletes, many of our hard-working juniors will also be in action when they take on the London Mini-Marathon.
Recently traveling up from his home in Somerset to train twice a day with his teammates, Jamie Edwards is looking in fine form going into Sunday’s race.
Also having trained well and recording some strong times at local meets and road races, Graham Spencer, Yasmin Somers, Olivia Gallagher, Matt Cooper and Morgan Woods will also be looking strong when they line up at the start.
Often balancing training, helping the Academy behind the scenes and training both junior and senior athletes, Justin Levene has also managed to find time to fit in a marathon this weekend as he races Venice Marathon in Italy.
With Weir Archer’s Wolfpack out in force, race day is shaping up to be an extremely joyful occasion for the club.
Whether Weir wins or not on Sunday is yet to be decided, but one thing that is certain and that is the legacy that both himself and Archer have created in athletics is one that has gone down in history and sporting folklore.