24th April 2023

Cairess and Harrison shine at the London Marathon

Stellar performances from Emile Cairess (club: Leeds City) and Samantha Harrison (coach: Vince Wilson, club: Charnwood) made it a TCS London Marathon to remember for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as Sir Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles) also completed his last competitive marathon.

Cairess made a huge statement, in what was his first ever marathon appearance, crossing the line in 02:08:07 which makes him the third-fastest British man in history across the distance, behind only Farah and Steve Jones.

The 25-year-old, who was the highest performing British athlete, finishing sixth in the men’s elite race, was followed by Phil Sesemann (Andrew Henderson, Leeds) who improved his personal best to 2:10:23 as he sprinted past Farah in the closing stages, with the four-time Olympic champion ninth in 2:10:28.

“It’s just the beginning of my journey and I have to keep working hard. I’m just going to keep pushing and try my best and hopefully that can get me somewhere near the top,” said Cairess.

“A few years ago, if you told me I would be here I would have bit your hand off so I’m just going to keep working and keep pushing.”

Chris Thompson (Aldershot, Farnham & District) also placed highly, finishing tenth in 2:11:50, meaning four British athletes came within the top ten of the men’s race.

In the women’s race, Harrison put in a red-hot run to smash her personal best by roughly six minutes, clocking a new time of 02:25:59.

That means she is now ranked sixth on the all-time British marathon runners list, elevating her into a truly elite category.

“It’s a great achievement. I was hoping I could take a chunk off the marathon time. Hopefully in the future I can do another good time and take another chunk off,” said Harrison.

“In training I’ve focused a bit more on higher volume, higher intensity and more mileage and that’s paid off now. I felt a lot stronger at the end.”

David Weir (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) finished fifth in his 24th London Marathon appearance, with a time of 01:32:45 in the men’s wheelchair race.

Weir won the Paris Marathon earlier in the year and confirmed he would be back in the capital to compete again next year.

“I actually felt really fit going into this race. I’ll be back and we’ll see how I go,” said Weir.

Following closely behind Weir was Michael McCabe (Christine Parsloe, Sutton & District), who completed the course in 01:35:15 to finish eighth.

Meanwhile, Eden Rainbow-Cooper (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) maintained her solid road form, clocking an impressive 01:47:43 on her way to taking seventh in the women’s wheelchair race.