THE WARWICK Half Marathon consists of a completely traffic-free route around the beautiful town and its surrounding countryside and Neil Wicks led the way for Stratford Athletic Club.
It starts and finishes at Warwick Racecourse and is run on entirely tarmacked roads. On a bitterly cold and wet Sunday morning, eight Stratford AC members lined up to start the race.
They probably wondered what on earth they were doing attempting to run 13.1 miles in such inclement weather. Despite this, there were some superb performances by them.
First home for the club in a remarkable fourth place was Neil Wicks whose time of 77.38 was almost four minutes quicker than his previous personal best, recorded almost four years ago.
His time also puts him just outside the top 50 runners in the UK for his age group this year.
It was a case of another week, another wonderful performance from Kate Wright who finished 24th in a time of 85.08. She was also the first lady finisher, more than a minute ahead of her closest rival.
Next to finish for the club was James Cusack (68th – 89.54). It was another great performance from James who proved he is well on track for his upcoming marathons and Ironman.
Sam Nicholson’s time (129th – 94.27) was just ten seconds quicker than his last half marathon in October and just 23 seconds quicker than the Stratford half last April.
Maria Haslam (254th – 1:41.06) was overjoyed at achieving a personal best, despite the dreadful weather. Maria is busily training for the London Marathon and her performance in this race shows she is well on track to do well there. She beat her previous best time, in 2013, by more than nine minutes.
Thiago Pereira (412th – 1:47.17) is fairly new to running and can be immensely proud of this superb time whilst Jan McLure (1049th – 2:04.32) is a runner who enters many local races and this shows in her steadily improving performances.
For Clive Shepherd, the day did not get off to the best of starts. He forgot his timing chip, which means his excellent run does not feature in the race results and, as such, will not be recorded.
He ran a time somewhere in the region of 2:12 which, when you consider his PB is 2:12.49, shows what a fabulous run he had.
Some 1,720 runners completed the race, which was won by Andrew Savery in a time of 72.54.
THE DROITWICH Half Marathon, organised by the town’s athletic club, is a relatively new race to the half marathon calendar and attracts a modest sized field.
It follows an undulating course, taking runners through the quiet country lanes of Droitwich, starting at Droitwich High School and finishing on the high school athletics track.
Anthony Howell was SAC’s sole representative on the start line. Anthony is busily training for his first marathon, in Manchester, next month and finished 23rd out of 234 finishers, so inside the top ten per cent.
He ran a superb race, finishing in a time of 91.3, just 74 seconds off his PB and a mere 20 seconds slower than his time at Birmingham in October, despite the bad weather.
The performance shows he is yet another Stratford runner who is well on course to do well in a spring marathon.
Reports compiled by David Jones.