Michael shares this report from last weekend’s Festival of Running.
Well done to everyone who took part. Ed
Gary Marshall, 38, of Wootton Bridge Runners, was first Island athlete home in this years gruelling Needles Half Marathon on 1 June.
He lost by just 22 sec to race winner Luke Montgomery, 34, of Corby Athletics Club.
The two were neck and neck throughout, with Luke pulling away to finish in one hour, 22 min 51 sec.
Tough but enjoyable
Luke, in his fourth half marathon, described the race as,
“Tough but enjoyable. It really helped to run with Gary, because he knew the route and set a very fast pace. He was brilliant.”
Gary, whose time was one hour, 23min 13sec, said:
“I had a nice, steady-paced race. I took a tumble in a field, but didn’t come to any harm. I ran a strong race, but Luke had a stronger finish.”
Gary was cheered at the finish by his family, including daughters Rosie, eight, and Megan, six, who had taken part in the Junior Fun Run.
Fay is first
First woman was Faye Johnson, from Pontepool and District Runners, in one hour 38min, 3 sec. First Island woman – and fifth woman overall – was Hayley Baxter, of IW Road Runners, in one hour, 47min, 56sec.
With 434 entries, the race marked the climax of the third IW Festival of Running, organised by West Wight Sports and Community Centre.
Nearly 800 entrants
The festival, now in its third year, attracted 774 entrants in four races: 1.5km Junior Fun Run (sponsored by Warrior Fitness Academy), Freshwater 5km (PO41 Coffee House), Tapnell 10km (Tapnell Farm), and Needles Half Marathon (Love Running).
Winner of the 10km was Daniel Green, of Leighton Fun Runners, in 42hr 34min 01sec. First woman was Faye Johnson, as above, in 42min 53sec.
Winner of the 5km was Ross Wilkes, of IW Road Runners, in 17min 57sec. First woman was Nicky Millard, of Warley Woods Pacers, in 24min 39 sec.
Griffin: Brilliant team
Clare Griffin, of West Wight Sports and Community Centre, said:
“The festival was a huge success, thanks to our magnificent runners, sponsors, marshalls and staff. We really couldn’t do it without such a brilliant team.”
Next year’s IW Festival of Running is on 30 and 31 May, 2020. Entries will open on 1st July on the Website.