Neil Featherby: One the eve of the Norwich half marathon we have real inspiration in Dani Nimmock

The City of Norwich Half Marathon in 1985, Neil Featherby ahead of Andy Girling. Picture: Neil Feath

The City of Norwich Half Marathon in 1985, Neil Featherby ahead of Andy Girling. Picture: Neil Featherby - Credit: Archant

My last two columns have been dedicated to marathon running – and this week is going to be no different.

The start of the Norwich half marathon in 1985. Picture: Neil Featherby

The start of the Norwich half marathon in 1985. Picture: Neil Featherby - Credit: Archant

After what was an absolutely fantastic performance by City of Norwich AC athlete Danni Nimmock in winning the Manchester Marathon last Sunday, there is no way I could not give her a mention.

To win any marathon is brilliant, but to win a big city marathon is just something else!

She made it clear very early on this year when she clocked 33:44 at the Telford 10k that she knew exactly what her aims were.

I saw her finish literally just behind the men in fourth place overall at the Freethorpe 10-mile road race just a couple of weeks after her Telford performance and to say she actually looked fresher than the three men ahead of her is not an exaggeration.

City of Norwich Half Marathon start. Picture: Archant

City of Norwich Half Marathon start. Picture: Archant - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014


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Not only was it a great win for her last Sunday, but her time of two hours and 38 minutes was also excellent.

She most certainly has a great future ahead of her, in which I can only see her achieving even more success.

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At the same time, I am also sure that she will have inspired so many others as we now approach this Sunday's Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon and, of course, those who are running in the Brighton and London marathons during the next two weekends.

As always, you only get out what you put in, and Dani has most certainly epitomised this.

Dani Nimmock crosses the finish line in Manchester. Picture: hollicom.co.uk

Dani Nimmock crosses the finish line in Manchester. Picture: hollicom.co.uk - Credit: Archant

The work she has done in the past with Tim and Pauline Ash and now her highly qualified sports scientist and sports physiologist husband Mark Burgess, has been pretty meticulous, to say the least.

Talking of the Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon, once again this superbly well-organised race has come round again and each year I am so impressed by all the efforts of those taking part and the hard work put in by the organisers to make this such a great event.

Hugh McGill, Richard Polley and Granville Courtnell, along with all their hard-working team from within the club (CONAC), really do go to great efforts to make this race a success and I wish them and all the runners taking part the very best of luck for the 33rd running of this event.

I so well remember running in the very first one back in 1985 when it was organised by Mike Wilkinson and the Duke Street Runners.

With 1,400 runners taking part, I got caught on the line for third place after having a tussle (literally) all the way round with a really tough British international runner by the name of Andy Girling as we both crossed the line together in 66:03.

The race that day and first ever winner was another international, and former London Marathon third-placer, Dennis Fowles from Cardiff, who crossed the finish line in 65:11 with Cambridge Harrier, Keith Penney in second position.

Happy memories for sure!

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