THE BRIGHTON Marathon is one of the UK’s favourite 26.2-milers and the two Stratford Athletic Club runners who competed in Sunday’s event would certainly endorse this view, writes David Jones.
With the stunning backdrop of the sea, it takes place in one of the country’s most vibrant cities and is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and roaring crowd support.
The course winds through the city streets and finishes up on the spectacular Brighton seafront after a final three-mile stretch along the seafront.
First to finish for Stratford was Alan Wright (4:19.44) who only joined the club in November.
This was the third time he has run the event and he was absolutely delighted with his time, which was nine minutes quicker than last year.
Alan ran a remarkably consistent race, with his last three 5km splits being within 48 seconds of each other. When you have already run over 25km, this is no mean feat.
Alan’s daughter is currently studying at Brighton University and she was there to cheer him over the line.
Alan is an insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetic and he is proof positive of what can be achieved despite this illness. He now moves on to Madrid this weekend to compete in the half-marathon.
Kate Sergent (4:34.24) also had a fabulous race, finishing 25th out of 219 in the 55-64 age group, despite this being her last year in that group.
The congested start meant it took her a bit of time to get into her stride but she also ran a consistent race and amazingly sped up in the last 7km.
Kate has been running superbly well in 2016 and has trained tremendously hard for this event. That training well and truly paid off with a fabulous run that was only 52 seconds off her personal best at the Dublin Marathon, a full six years ago.
Alan passed her at about the ten-mile mark as their yellow and black vests drew them together and they were able to give each other encouragement.
The race was won by Duncan Mayio in 2:09.56 and the first lady finisher was Grace Momanyi in 2:34.16.
ON A FRESH and sunny Sunday morning, 2,000 runners gathered for the popular Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10k, writes Natasha Watkins.
As always, there was plenty of excitement in the air and a palpable buzz as runners gathered at the start and among the throng of expectant runners were 16 Stratford AC members.
The course was a little hard going to start with, very muddy and wet, more like a cross country race or a ‘wolf run’, as described by Beverley Bridgen.
There was, however, some satisfaction in running straight through the middle of large, deep, muddy puddles, once you could get past the congestion of fellow participants squealing at the sight of mud and water in front of them!
All of the Stratford AC runners should be very pleased with themselves and their times, as listed below, in particular Roger Wilson who came first in the male 70 category, Nicola Reynolds for whom this was her first 10k ever and James Cusack, who was running this race just seven days after completing the Manchester Marathon.
SAC results: (Pos, Name, Nett Time) – 47 Tim Tandy 39:37; 62 Malcolm Bowyer 40:30; 64 James Cusack 40:35; 244 Roger Wilson 46:15; 341 Phil Brennan 48:01; 420 Luke Watkins 49:03; 500 Nadezhda Svetlakova-Doyle 50:51; 519 David Maundrell 50:44; 524 Charlotte Potgieter 50:51; 530 Ruth Calderbank 51:40; 713 Angela Cox 53:25; 772 Jo Young 54:12; 1,194 Beverley Bridgen 59:36; 1,282 Nicola Reynolds 59:53; 1,500 Jane Fradgley 1:02:48; 1,849 Natasha Watkins 1:10:03.
The overall winner of the race was Richard Simkiss of McCarkiss Endurance Project in a time of 33:08 and the first lady to finish was Sarah Rose of Kenilworth Runners in a time of 38:01 as exactly 2,000 runners completed the race.