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Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

HUN­DREDS of run­ners were forced to run an ex­tra 150 me­tres to com­plete the Hilling­don Half Marathon, as di­ver­sions brought on by the weather ex­tended the course.

A fallen tree and un­safe scaf­fold­ing at the Brunel Univer­sity cam­pus meant the route ended up be­ing 13.2 miles rather than the usual 13.1, adding to the chal­leng­ing con­di­tions on Mon­day.

But the gales and pound­ing rain failed to put off com­peti­tors, who bat­tled gamely to reach the fin­ish­ing line and the prospect of some dry clothes and some­where to warm up.

Or­gan­iser James Ship­ley, of Ac­tive Train­ing World, said he was de­lighted so many peo­ple took part de­spite the aw­ful weather.

“We had quite a few chal­lenges but we were de­ter­mined not to can­cel the race with so many peo­ple show­ing up,” he said. “We had a tree which fell on the cam­pus so we had to di­vert the route to avoid that and then there were con­cerns about un­safe scaf­fold­ing so we had to make an­other di­ver­sion. That meant the route ended up be­ing 13.2 miles in­stead of 13.1.

“We’re re­ally pleased the event could go ahead and ev­ery­one seemed to en­joy them­selves, de­spite the weather. I’d like to say a big thank you to our spon­sor Bird & Lovi­bond Solic­i­tors, who had a num­ber of staff tak­ing part in the race.”

Lon­don mayor Boris John­son had sent a video mes­sage to com­peti­tors ahead of the race, say­ing he would ‘be there in spirit’.

He said: “Give it all you’ve got, give them hell and good luck with the Hilling­don Half Marathon.”

n STORM­ING RUN: En­trants in the Hilling­don Half Marathon take to the wet roads on Sun­day

Photos by Steve Porter www.buyapho­totms.co.uk

BE161260

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