Warwick marathon champ’s plans halted by coronavirus

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Ian Allen celebrates as he takes the glory at the Half Marathon
Spa Striders runner Ian Allen, who won March’s Warwick Half Marathon, is eager to break more records when coronavirus allows sporting events to resume.

Ian Allen came home in record time at the Warwick Half Marathon. The Spa Striders runner described the triumph as a “great feeling” and was delighted to have won in style.

However, the Leamington athlete, who broke the course record, had his sights set on the capital.

He said: “I was training for the London Marathon for the spring season. In the summer, I was keen to try my hand on the track, focusing on 800 metres. These plans have fallen apart due to COVID-19.”

The pandemic has seen society halt, claiming thousands of lives in England and is set to keep Britons indoors for months.

Despite no events, Allen has stayed in contact with friends at Spa Striders. He said: “There is still a strong community spirit. The support on social media has been amazing and people going out of their way to a difficult time a little easier.”

Allen was set for a break to train for The Dragon Ride, a cycling event, returning to running later this year.

Allen said: “Track races have been cancelled. If the London Marathon is in October, I’ll start training for that in June.”

At Warwick in March, he finished three minutes clear of his closest competitor, finishing in 69 minutes and 41 seconds on a nippy Sunday afternoon.

Allen said: “I have been running for three years and a half marathon win had eluded me. They’re probably my favourite distance and I’d set myself a goal to secure a win.”

He added: “I was quietly confident that I could get a personal best. I was training for London so distance wasn’t a problem. The conditions were perfect. I like to race when it is cold and my legs felt great on the day.”

“This is a difficult and strange time for sport”

Allen has represented Spa Striders for two years and is still very proud of his club, saying: “I am immensely proud to represent Striders. It is the first club I joined after training for a marathon which had not gone well. I couldn’t face running those lonely miles again.”

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