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Shrewsbury half marathon is a sizzler - with pictures and video

By Ian Harvey | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Runners from across the world descended on Shrewsbury to complete the town's half marathon on the hottest day of the year.

Almost 1,750 athletes braved temperatures creeping towards 30 degrees to complete the tough 13.1 mile course with some finding the heat too much and having to drop out.

Organisers, UK Run Chat, put an extra water station out on the course and residents living out on the country section played water from garden hoses on the grateful runners.

Despite the heat, the competitors took part in a "warm up" at the Shrewsbury Showground led by 53 marathons in 53 days record holder Amy Hughes from West Felton, near Oswestry, before the start hooter was sounded by mayor of Shrewsbury Jane MacKensie.

Councillor MacKensie said the half marathon was great for the town, bring people from a wide area.

The runners went out of the showground and headed into Shrewsbury town centre for a lap of the town cheered on by spectators who lined the pavements.

One of the hardest sections of the course was Wyle Cop with some running to the top but others opting to walk.

Local runners joined some from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand and from the length and breadth of Britain.

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Shropshire athletes included Lawley runners, Laura Rouse and Collette Duff, Mike Murray from Shrewsbury and Guy Jones from Shrewsbury who ran pushing his daughter Millie in a buggy.

Mike Dovaston from Ellesmere, running for Trismart, took three minutes off his time despite the heat.

"It was really hot but there was plenty of water stations and people in their gardens were spraying us with hoses," he said.

Sight impaired runner, Liz Pimperton travelled from Scarborough to take part and was joined by Stewart Anthony her guide runner for the event.

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Many Shropshire running clubs had large contingents taking part, with the Shropshire Shufflers fielding about 60 runners.

Iain Day was one of the older Shufflers. The 71-year-old said: "We have men and women of all ages and all abilities running today. Some will be running for positions, others will be running in small groups together."

The winner of the event was David Webb, a Telford Athletics Club member in a time of one hour and eight seconds. Ben Cole from Swindon was second and Daniel Desta from Swansea third. The first lady home was Belle Ward from Shrewsbury.

Age group winners included Tony Power, Simon Dix, Paul Ward, Marcus McDonald, Carole Morgan, Cheralyn Evans, Ann Pritchard, Annabel Hodgson and Alison Moore.

For others their race was against their own clock, or against the heat, battling simply to finish.

Organisers praised the 100 marshals who gave up their morning to stand out on the course or held on the showground.

Gemma Wright from Shrewsbury, who has done the event three years is injured this year so instead offered her help.

"It is so inspiring seeing so many people taking part," she said.

A group of teenagers from schools in Oswestry in Shrewsbury volunteers as part of their National Citizenship Service. Chloe Mounsey, 15, from the Marches School, said it was good to be part of such a big event.

The NCS volunteers were at the showground thanks to the Shrewsbury Town in the Community scheme.

As well as the half marathon there was a new event this year, a 1.1 mile run for children from Belvedere and Harlescott junior schools in Shrewsbury.

Race director, Joe Williams, said: "The children have run a mile every week this term and this was the final 1.1 mile to mark the half marathon distance. They all had the same medals as the adult runners. We want to encourage young people to keep active."

Ian Harvey

By Ian Harvey
@IanHarvey_Star

Shropshire Star Internet Editor based at the head office in Ketley, Telford

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