Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters' Lucy McInerney takes gold at London’s Olympic Park but father Mike retires injured
London’s Olympic Park was the venue for Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters at the European Masters Marathon.
Skaters from all over Europe travelled to the capital for this major international event. The WISS team made the most of the rarely held event, the last being held in 1998, and six members took part, all in the age bracket of over 30.
Mike McInerney, the favourite to earn a podium position, sadly suffered an injury in the early part of the 26-mile race and had to pull out from competition. He was bitterly disappointed after training hard all winter for the event.
David Billington, in the same race as Mike, finished just one lap shy of the 26-mile marathon, by completing 25 laps, while Jo Tidman met her own personal goal of a half-marathon distance of 13 miles. This was her first marathon event.
During the scorching afternoon, Graham Freear – the oldest in the team – was the only WISS skater to have completed a full marathon, while Karl Bates finished just six laps after suffering from heatstroke. Luke Frary managed an impressive 17 laps while carrying an injury from training.
The annual London Inline Marathon was held on the same day. This was open to all ages, and Lucy McInerney and Flynn McGurk entered the half-marathon of 13 miles.
Lucy battled at the front in the ladies race with an epic sprint to the finish line and took the overall win by less than a skate length against competitors from Slovakia and Italy.
Flynn, also battling against the Slovakian (men’s) team, took 4th overall in the men’s event after his rivals skated a tactical race, but he finished in second place in his age category and therefore took to the podium. Lucy was the only British female to make it onto the podium for the whole event.
Report and photos: Jo Tidman.
Back, from left: Luke Frary, Karl Bates, Jo Tidman. Front: Mike McInerney, Lucy McInerney, Flynn McGurk and Graham Freear (not pictured: David Billington).