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900 runners on streets for Ironbridge Half Marathon

By Rob Smith | Ironbridge | News | Published: | Last Updated:

About 900 runners raced around Telford and the Ironbridge Gorge, including crossing the famous bridge itself, for the 30th anniversary of the Ironbridge Half Marathon.

The race, dubbed the 'run through history', has been a staple in Telford since 1989 and this year's anniversary was a successful event on a sunny day.

Organised tirelessly every year by the Telford Harriers club, the event relied on more than 90 volunteers to run smoothly.

The runners, hailing from clubs throughout Shropshire as well as further afield, assembled in Telford's town park arena on Sunday before taking off through the park, using the Silkin Way and the Blists Hill Museum.

They then followed the old Severn Valley railway line through the gorge, over the bridge itself and then back up the Silkin Way to finish in the town park again.

A total of 904 runners started the race, and 897 finished. The first to finish was Paul Ward of the Telford Athletic Club, in one hour, 15 minutes and 34 seconds.

Damian Whitehead crossing the Iron Bridge

The first woman was Kim Fawke, who runs with Lawley Running club and is also a director of the Telford Parkrun. She finished in one hour, 21 minutes and 54 seconds.

Nicola Lowery, Telford & Wrekin Councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge, said the event was a credit to the gorge.

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"I was walking through the town so I saw bits of it," she said. "It's wonderful to see how many runners took part.

"A lot of people were cheering them on, a lot of people found it a real community event.

"They like seeing it as part of the gorge. It's a real family-oriented event which is really good.

Wrekin Road Runner Becky Owen-Jones enjoying a downhill stretch of the route

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"The more sustainable events like these we like to support.

"For them to have sustained themselves and for it to improve year on year is something to be extremely proud of.

"We celebrated that with them as a community.

"I would like to take part one year, it's a really great route."

Nicola said the picturesque gorge and the surrounds were a big factor in why both Shropshire's runners and those from elsewhere support the event in such big numbers every year.

Wrekin Road Runners

She also thanked the run's organisers for doing a "fantastic job" and making it a success every year.

The organisers hailed the fantastic results and called the event "a real success". They are now hard at work preparing for next year's run.

For the full list of results and to see photos, visit facebook.com/Ironbridgehalf

The event was supported by groups and companies including primary sponsor Denso, Telford & Wrekin Council and Ambtrans.

JA Race Solutions provided the chip timing for the race, as well as live commentary. The 1st Donnington Guides helped collect bags from the runners.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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