IN PICTURES: Runners take part in Much Wenlock half marathon

The birthplace of the modern Olympic movement was the inspiring backdrop for runners taking on a gruelling half marathon.

IN PICTURES: Runners take part in Much Wenlock half marathon

People from across the Midlands descended on Much Wenlock to take part in the town's annual half marathon.

The number 130 was on everyone's minds yesterday as about 130 runners took part in the race, which was held as part of the 130th Wenlock Olympian Games.

Sunny but cool conditions greeted the runners as they lined up at the start.

The half marathon, which takes in the some of the county's most glorious views and holds great historical, sporting significance, is organised by the Wenlock Olympian Society.

The society was founded in the town in 1850 by Dr William Penny Brookes, who is acknowledged as one of the fathers of the modern Olympics and started the town's Olympian Games, which kick off this year in July.

Dr Brookes himself – played by local historian Chris Cannon – welcomed the runners to the starting line, and got the race started.

Among the runners was Anna Moszinska from Broseley.

Ahead of the race, the 47-year-old said: "I fancied the challenge, and it's certainly going to be a challenge. The furthest I'd run in preparation was 16k, so I will be pushing myself. It's the perfect day for it though, I just hope it doesn't get too hot or it will be tough."

Janine Barrowclyffe, 46, travelled from Nottingham because she was attracted to the history behind the event.

She said: "I was interested by that fact it's a trail race, rather than your typical road race. I was also fascinated by the Olympian link."

Mac Bardsley, PR officer for Wenlock Olympian Society, was also taking part in the run.

Speaking ahead of the run, he said: "It's a fantastic day for it but one thing I will say is nobody will get a personal best here today, it's a tough course. There's offroad, uphill and downhill. There's going to be some very tired runners afterwards – including myself!"

Daniel Turner of Lawley Running Clubs was the overall race winner, finishing with a time of one hour 24 minutes and 54 seconds. Joe Phillips of Newport & District Running Club came second, finishing in 1:27:14, and in third place was Chris Atherton of Ambleside AC with a time of 1:29:49. Lauren Draper was the first woman to finish the race, with a time of 1:35:48.

Genny Capper, part of the Wenlock Olympian Society, said the race event was a "great success".

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