Double delight for Folkestone
FOLKESTONE Running Club did the double by winning both the men’s and women’s titles in the third annual Rotary Folkestone half marathon.
A glorious summer-like day on the Leas was not so wonderful for the runners as the heat meant running conditions were difficult and times were down.
Despite the heat Sam Rigby showed he is in the form of his life, emerging a clear-cut champion in a very creditable one hour 15 minutes 26 seconds.
This was not far outside the course record 1:11:10 set by Michael Coleman last year.
He was already off and away on his warm down run while most of the field were just struggling up the Road of Remembrance on the way to the finish.
He ended up over three minutes clear of the Ashford and District Roadrunners duo Kevan James and Robert Carpenter.
It was the chasing pack that provided the real excitement as James maintained an excellent pace throughout to take second with 1:18:41, just holding off his team-mate Carpenter who paced his return superbly to come in third with 1:18:50.
Canterbury Harrier Roy Palmer also judged the race well to come through for fourth with 1:18:51.
The women’s race also turned out to be a procession from start to finish behind Folkestone’s irrepressible South African Rona Loubser.
She improved on her third last year with an excellent 1:24: 38 but was chased all the way by the consistent Invicta East Kent veteran Sharon Hawkins with 1:29:34.
Rona’s time also went close to the course record of 1:24:24 despite the heat.
There was an impressive finish from Veronique Bringlow who came through in the final sprint on the Leas to take third place by only four seconds with 1:29:45 overtaking Serpentine’s Louise Ruderman 1:24:49.
Hawkins, second woman last year, also secured the veteran ladies prize and James the M40 category trophy. The M50 award went to James Godkin with a fine 1:24:00 and M60 award went to regular winner Michael Conway of Invicta East Kent with 1: 33:43.
The W45 prize was taken by Janet Carter from Woodford Green with 1:39:45.
There was an excellent 650 entry for the run which helps raise money for the various Rotary charities collecting a remarkable £37,000 last year.
Still smiling at 13 miles, winner Rona Loubser strides home unchallenged at the finish Picture: Paul Amos pd1487901
Folkestone half race winner Sam Rigby centre with Ashford and District Roadrunners Kevan James, left who was second and Robert Carpenter was third Picture: Brian Cumming pd1488137