Runners take on historic Much Wenlock half marathon - with pictures

By Sophie Madden | South Shropshire | South Shropshire entertainment | Published:

More than 100 runners honoured Shropshire's Olympic history when they took on a half marathon.

The Wenlock Olympian Half Marathon is a challenging course through some of Shropshire's most beautiful countryside.

It is also the first sporting event as part of the Wenlock Olympian Games, the majority of which will be held later this year.

The Half Marathon, which begins at William Brookes School takes a scenic route over the footpaths, trails, bridle paths and lanes in and around the town and even travels into historic Ironbridge.

Mac Bardsley, from the Wenlock Olympian society said: "We had about 120 peope, which is up on last year but we would like to get it well into the hundreds in future.

"The conditions were excellent, it was a nice temperature and there wasn't too much wind.

"It was a little bit slippy in places because of the wet weather over the past few days, and there were some people slipping on the path's going into the Gorge.

"But everyone says it is a really challenging course and a very scenic course. One of the main reasons people take part is for the history of it."

The first man home was Joe Philips from Newport and District Running Club in a time of one hour, 25 minutes and three seconds.


And Mr Bardsley himself managed to make it back in 20th position, with a time of one hour and 46 minutes.

This year will mark the 131st Olympian Games in Much Wenlock, the town is credited with being at the heart of introducing the modern Olympics.

Wenlock Olympian Games, established by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1850, were centred in the town.

Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the modern Olympic Games, and one of the Olympic mascots for London 2012 was named Wenlock after the town.


This year will see the majority of the Olympian Games held within the first two weeks of July, with the main events held on July 9.

Mr Bardsley said: "Preparations are going well and we're hoping to have a number of local dignitaries down at the invitation of the society."

Leading men and ladies in the run on Sunday, including those in all age categories were, in Olympian tradition, awarded gold, silver and bronze medals and all finishers received a participation medal.

Sophie Madden

By Sophie Madden

Senior reporter based out of the head office in Ketley covering the Telford area.


Top stories


More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News