Ath­letes able to chill out

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Hun­dreds of run­ners took on the Owler Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k on Sun­day, in tem­per­a­tures that stayed in sin­gle fig­ures and a wind chill that made for a bit­terly cold day.

Run­ners came from far and wide to Ash­ford’s Julie Rose Sta­dium where the races started and fin­ished and they en­joyed the beau­ti­ful views of sur­round­ing coun­try­side as they ran in the quiet back roads near Hinx­hill.

The three races were part trail and part road, with some par­tic­u­larly muddy ar­eas around Con­ning­brook Lake.

First home in the Owler Marathon was Michael Burke, of Hay­wards Heath Har­ri­ers, who com­pleted the test­ing course in 3hr 16min 14sec.

The first lady was also sec­ond over­all – Me­lanie Sta­ley fin­ish­ing in 3:17.46. She was fol­lowed in third spot by Mark Hokan (3:24.03) who was the sec­ond male fin­isher. Glenn Burgess, of the 100 Marathon Club UK, com­pleted the men’s podium, com­ing home in 3:27.21.

Sec­ond lady home was Kate Mitchell in 3:45.53, with Han­nah Pil­beam third in 4:05.49.

The half marathon was more closely con­tested, with Phil Hoy­land (Folkestone Run­ning Club) tak­ing top hon­ours in 1:20.33, with Nick Collins, of Torq, just one sec­ond be­hind in 1:20.34 and Bernard King fin­ish­ing third in 1:22.25.

For the ladies in the half-marathon, first home was Aure­lie Mor­ris in 1:46.29, with Dana Kelly sec­ond in 1:47.16 and Philippa Brit­ton third in 1:47.51.

The 10k event was won by Phillip Gomm in 44.30, with Shaun Tunga, of VRUK, sec­ond in 45.00, and Rory Hughes third in 46.40.

Gill Prag­nell, of Ash­ford & District RRC, won the ladies’ event in 48.35, with Vic­to­ria Holdom sec­ond in 49.52 and Karen Thomp­son, of Hay­wards Heath Har­ri­ers, third in 49.57.

Tri Spirit Team mem­bers com­peted in some of the events.

Andy Ste­wart took on the half marathon de­spite feel­ing be­low par, yet still man­aged to fin­ish in 1:46.25.

Steve and Jac­qui Maxted ran the 10k just a cou­ple of weeks af­ter tak­ing on what is re­puted to be the world’s tough­est road marathon in Athens.

Steve fin­ished in 56.21, with Jac­qui not far be­hind in 58.31. Their son Jozef Maxted and his part­ner Gemma Vin­cent also took on the 10k, with both cross­ing the line in 1:03.49. Dar­ren also Clark fin­ished in 58.18.

Liz King, event di­rec­tor for Tri Spirit Events, said: “The smiles and en­thu­si­asm were both high all day, even though the tem­per­a­tures most def­i­nitely were not.

“All of the run­ners and mar­shals seemed to en­joy the day and many said they will re­turn next year, which is tes­ta­ment to how well all of the mar­shals and helpers did.

“It was also kind of the Mayor of Ash­ford, Cllr Win­ston Michael, to spend so much time at the fin­ish line speak­ing to com­peti­tors and con­grat­u­lat­ing them.”

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM5004519

The Owler Marathon takes a lap of the track at the Julie Rose Sta­dium on Sun­day

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