Athletics: Strong London Marathon run seals European Championships spot for Thames Valley Harriers athlete Tracy Barlow

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 April 2018

Thames Valley Harriers athlete Tracy Barlow (pic: Steven Paston/PA)

Thames Valley Harriers athlete Tracy Barlow (pic: Steven Paston/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Distance runner booked her place at this summer’s event in Berlin, Germany

Thames Valley Harriers’ Tracey Barlow guaranteed her place in this summer’s European Championships after a satisfying ninth place finish at the Virgin Money London Marathon.

The 32-year-old was hoping to go better than her two hours, 30 minutes and 42 seconds achieved from last year’s race, which incidentally is her current personal best.

However, Barlow had to settle for 2:32:09 in the women’s race, which was well inside the 2:36:00 qualifying mark for the Euros that takes place in Berlin, Germany.

Lily Partridge was the first Brit home finishing eighth in 2:29:24, while Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot sealed victory in 2:18:31.

Barlow, who will now compete in a series of warm-up races before heading to Berlin this August, found the barmy warm weather conditions throughout the 26.2-mile route just too hot to handle despite being happy with the time.

“It was quite tough,” she said. “I kept chucking water over my head to try to cool myself down but you find out you are drying off almost instantly in the heat.

“There was a bit of a breeze that cools you down, but it was also a strong head wind at times.

“I was hoping for sub-2:30, but in those conditions I was happy with how it went.

“You have always got it in your head going under 2:30, so initially you are gutted when you see the time, but on reflection you think it is not bad and hopefully I can do better at Europeans.”

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