Weekend round-up : 15/16 MAR
The Falmouth Half Marathon was the highlight of the weekend, with over 400 runners taking part on the hilly course. Perfect conditions helped produce several PB’s, but at the front of the pack the race was between two runners. By half way, Justin Thomas (CAC) and last year’s winner Mike Birchmore (Newquay RR) were battling it out in a race of their own, with Birchmore eventually holding on for a repeat win in 1:15:16, an improvement of almost three minutes on last year’s time. Alex Daniels held off Paul Whear (Carn) to help Newquay Road Runners to the men’s team victory, ahead of St Austell and Cornwall AC.
In the ladies race, Izzy Wykes (Truro / Mud Crew UT) took the win by over four minutes in 1:28:40. Jessica Buscombe (St Austell) came second in 1:32:50, and Joanna Herd (Newquay) just outsprinted Zelah Morrell (CAC) for third.
Two runners were disqualified for wearing headphones, which is a credit to the organisers; the GP rules are clear, and much of the race took place alongside open (and busy) roads.
After three races in the Cornwall Grand Prix, the race for the overall series is starting to take shape. With a win and two seconds, Justin Thomas leads the men’s open, with Jordan Morant (Hayle) in second, and Alex Daniels third. In the ladies open, Kathryn Burgess (CAC) leads from Jessica Buscombe and Wendy Chapman (Truro).
Further afield, Emma Stepto proved her spring marathon preparations are going well, with a 2:00:26 ladies win in the Gloucester 20, finishing third overall. Carn runner Mark Dorrell also finished in the top thirty with a 02:16:01 run.
In Birmingham in Sunday, Mounts Bay Harrier Peter Le Grice helped Bristol and West AC to third place in the MCAA Road Relay Championships. Peter has joined Bristol & West on the higher performance eligibility rule, which means he can still compete for Mounts Bay Harriers in county events. He had the fastest time in the eighth leg of the race, helping his new club mates to the podium.
The international triathlon series season kicked off in Abu Dhabi this weekend, with Alistair Brownlee crossing the finish line arm-in-arm with brother Jonny to set a new course record in the extended bike distance race. At Newnham Park, in Plymouth, Paul Sole of Kernow Riders (and Mud Crew) improved his fourth place in the first ‘Stinger’ race in February to win the second round. The ‘Stinger’ is a tough duathlon combining 5k trail, 20k off-road bike section, and 3k ‘stinger’ run. Will Hutchins of Tri-logic finished third vet.