10th Dec, 2016

Paul Saunders marks marathon return with impressive performance in Worcester

Stratford Editorial 27th May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

GLORIOUS weather greeted runners for the Worcester Marathon and Half Marathin for an event which continues to go from strength to strength since its birth back in 2012, reports David Jones.

The hope is that in 2017 the start will relocate to the city centre and attract more competitors to tie the event in more closely to the city of Worcester.

Being a reasonably local race, it was always going to prove attractive to runners from Stratford Athletic Club and so it proved, with eight members competing and a couple were running the longer distances after a break of several years.

In the marathon, Paul Saunders was competing at this distance for the first time in ten years and while he as delighted to finish in under four hours in a time of 3:56.18, he revealed his legs went after 21 miles but he still finished 93rd overall.

Tara Lambert was running her second marathon of the weekend and her time of 5:04.57 was enough to claim 233rd spot following an enjoyable run.

A total of 253 runners completed the marathon distance and the race was won by Matt Harrold in a time of 2:42.43, while Bethan Fowler, in 19th place was the fastest woman in 3:15.34.

The half marathon saw six Stratford members competing and they were led home by Waleed Agabani who finished 22nd overall in an impressive time of 1:29.43.

Waleed said: “It was a great race and I was really pleased to see so many Stratford runners at the start, it certainly helped to calm his nerves.”

“It was a tough, undulating and challenging course and the high temperature didn’t help. Having said that, although a minute off my PB, I am delighted my time especially bearing in mind all of the injuries I have had this year.”

Next home for Stratford were Charlotte Potgeiter (243 – 1:52.11 ) and Alan Wright (244 – 1:52.11 ). Bith runners ran the race together and Alan’s time was also a new pB.

Rebecca Pridham was also delighted to record a new PB by over a minute after crossing the finish line in 1:53.37 to finish 258th overall.

Team mate Dave Maundrell was running his first half marathon since Kenilworth just under four years ago and he looked good until the eighth mile when he began to struggle, but Dave ploughed on through to finish 387th in a time of 2:04.12.

Clive Shepherd was the final runner home after finishing just six seconds short of his time at the Birmingham Half Marathon in a time of 2:25.29 which secured him 604th position.

A total of 708 runners competed in the half marathon distance with David Bell winning the event in 1:13.16, while Joanne McCandless was sixth over in 1:23.36.