It was the first big weekend of road racing this week, with the Reading and Bath Half Marathons attracting big fields. Nearer to home, the Bideford Half Marathon drew many Cornish runners looking to test their race legs before the big spring marathons. For mud-hoppers, there were the attractions of the Wild Night Run in Dartmoor, and the first ultra of the year, The Green Man in Bristol.
Mizuno Reading Half
In tough conditions, it wasn’t a day for PB’s at the Reading Half. Emma Stepto (CAC) finished sixth lady overall in a top British field, in 1:13:52 (provisional), just outside her PB set in Bristol last year. Aly Dixon, just back from altitude training in Kenya, finished in 1:13:09, but the race was won by Susan Partridge in 1:12:20, well down on her own PB.
The mens race was won by Scott Overall in 1:04:44, with notable Cornish performances from Justin Thomas (CAC) finishing in 1:13:47 (just seconds ahead of Emma Stepto), and Paul Sawford (Carn Runners), who finished in 1:20:40.
The Bath Half was a much faster affair, with Kenyan runners leading the field in both mens and ladies events. Nicholas Kirui won for the men in 1:03:13, and Perendis Lekapana for the ladies in 1:10:53. Phil Bolt was the first Cornwall AC runner home in 1:25:32, with Suzy Bosustow finishing in 1:32:49. Newquay runners Mark Connett and Andy Davis also finished in under 90 mins.
Samba music and bagpipers got over 900 runners round a chilly and damp Bideford Half circuit on Sunday. Bideford’s local runners dominated the mens race with four finishing in the top five. Shaun Antell (Bideford AAC) led the field home in 1:10:34, with local runners Jordan Morant (Hayle) placing well, finishing sixth overall in 1:17:22, and Ryan Kestle (Newquay RR) and Steve Wherry (CAC) both finishing in the top twenty.
The ladies race went to Serane Stone (Tiverton Harriers) in 1:21:02, but she was joined on the podium by Eleanor Davis (Newquay RR), who finished third in 1:24:54, just ahead of Isobel Wykes (Truro) in fourth.
Green Man Ultra
The Green Man Ultra is a tough 46 mile trail over the Community Forest Path around Bristol. Conditions were difficult for the runners on Saturday, and navigation proved a challenge. The Mud Crew Ultra Team had a great day out, with Stu Wilkie winning the mens race in his first outing in MCUT kit, and Sarah Morwood winning for the ladies (and second overall). Both are in training for 100+ mile races this year, with Stu competing in the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Run, and Sarah tackling the Thames Path Ultra, both in May. Sarah has written an account of her win on her blog, which you can find here.
Sarah Morwood and Stu Wilkie celebrate their Green Man Ultra wins — photo courtesy of Mud Crew.
Wild Night Run
We are still waiting for full results of this event, a tough ten miler over Dartmoor in the dark, but we hear Mhairi Saville of Tri-Logic won the ladies veteran prize. Well done Mhairi!