Nick Torry has saluted all his mates back at London’s Serpentine Running Club for their help in fulfilling his Commonwealth Games dream.
The accountant for city finance firm Commerzbank Bank finished 13th in the men’s marathon on day four of competition in Glasgow – a race won by Australian Michael Shelley – cheered on by scores of members from the Westminster club who had made the journey north to back their man.
Scores more gathered together in London to watch the race unfold on television.
Torry only joined Serpentine for social reasons originally, but with the help of family and friends he has now risen from Friday lunchtime 5k casual runner to international championship racer.
“All my training partners including my brother Hugh, Jonathan Poole and Richard Philips help me out. The club is very supportive.
“There is a big group of them watching in the pub down in Holborn not far from work and there were a lot out on the course so that was great.
“There were loads of them shouting out to me, but I’ve gone deaf so I had no idea what they were saying.
His temporary loss of hearing was not the only problem to hit the 37-year-old over the course of the 26 miles.
Torry had set himself a target of 2:12 and was well on schedule for his new PB when coming through the halfway mark around 1:07, but then trouble struck.
“I had cramps for a lot of the race which wasn’t good,” he added.
“I was fine at halfway and then they hit me hit me at 26km, first in my calves and then a little bit in my hamstrings and I just could not get above three minutes thirty seconds speed (per kilometre) which was frustrating.”
Torry does not have much time to recover from today’s exertions as he must swap the spikes, running shoes and his time in the international spotlight for the suit and the day job on Wednesday.
Elsewhere on what was the first day of athletics competition there was good news on the track for one west London athlete, but bad news off it for another.
Brunel University's Margaret Adeoye eased through to the semi-finals of the 400m, finishing second in the last of the six qualifying heats in a time of 53.98.
However, Julia Bleasdale’s medal hopes in the 5000m are over even before she has had a chance to step on the track after England team officials announced she had suffered a leg injury and had to withdraw.
In bowls, North Greenford United U18 assistant manager John McGuinness put the disappointment of yesterday’s defeat in the triples quarter-finals behind him with victory in the first group game of the men’s fours.
He and triples team members Stuart Airey and Jamie Chestney were joined by Andrew Knapper for the 22-11 win over the Cook Islands.
However, there was disappointment for Hillingdon-born Marcus Watson at the rugby 7s where his and England’s medal hopes ended in quarter-final defeat to Samoa.
Watson scored a brilliant second-half try, chipping over the covering defender and sprinting clear to touch down under the posts. However, it was not enough to save them going down 15-14.
Watson and co later beat hosts Scotland 15-12 in the Plate semi-final, so face Wales later in the battle for fifth and sixth.
Also, Hounslow’s Rajiv Ouseph will help England try and reach the final of the mixed team badminton where they face India.
Should they win they will face top seeds Malaysia in tomorrow afternoon’s final.