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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