VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON
CHRIS Dettmar’s sprint finish down The Mall proved just enough to break the 2.30-barrier.
The 44-year-old Headington Road Runner finished 40th in the nation’s top marathon after crossing the line in 2hrs 29mins 58secs.
In the process Dettmar broke Headington’s record for the 26.2-mile distance and became the first Oxfordshire club runner to go sub-2.30 for six and a half years.
“I was very happy, but I did have to sprint the last 200m,” he said.
“I thought I had a good chance when I saw the clock at the last corner and just went for it.
“I knew from about four miles out that it was going to be touch and go.”
Dettmar was the fourth vet 40 man home, just two minutes behind category winner Chris Greenwood (Kent AC).
He is the fastest Oxon marathon runner since Oxford City’s Dan Merckel clocked 2.28.48 in Berlin in September 2007.
Dettmar is also a successful duathlete, having won the European long-course title for his age group last year.
Asked whether his London Marathon performance was the best of his career, he replied: “It’s certainly up there.
“I would love to have another go and get faster.
“That’s the challenge, although I am getting older and older.
“I will be a vet 45 next year, so maybe I can go for that title.”
Conditions in the last 10km did much to stymie Mo Farah’s British record bid and also made it tough for those like Dettmar behind him.
“It was quite frustrating, the last five or six miles were all into a headwind, which made it much harder,” he said.
“I tried to run with other people as much as possible, but eventually I got isolated.
“It was fairly spread out towards the end.”
Dettmar, who has been a Headington member for 14 years, only made his 26.2-mile debut in 2013 – winning the Richmond Park Mara-thon in 2.35.51.
He followed that up with 2.35.53 in October’s Bournemouth Marathon, but upped his training this year to target the 2.30 barrier.
Now for this week at least, he is resting up.
“I don’t think I have got any choice,” he said.
“My legs are still pretty stiff.”
Dettmar will defend his Richmond Park Marathon title on May 18 before focusing on training for September’s World Long-Course Duathlon Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland.
Oxford University student Emma Hodson was the fastest Oxfordshire lady, clocking 3.08.02 to be the 142nd woman.