In it’s 4th year of running, the Southampton races are growing in success year on year. A south coast alternative to London’s famous marathon, this race has become very popular, very quickly. With a 10k and a half marathon in addition to the full course on offer, the event is accessible to all ages and all abilities.
Taking in some of the landmarks of the city, the courses take in Bargate, the QE2 Anchor, St Mary’s Stadium and of course the Itchen Bridge, there were some excited Roadrunners on the startline.
For the marathon runners 2 laps of the half marathon course faced the 1500 hopefuls as they lined up for the 9am kick off. Everyone of them hoping that the clouds would remain as forecast to sheild them from the sun in Palmerston Park. 10 plucky Roadrunners took on the challenge, 2 of those tackling the distance for the very first time.
Unfortunately the promised cooler air didn’t materialise and the sky got bluer and bluer making the temperatures rise to an unseasonably warm 20c.
Steve Bennett was the first roadrunner across the line to comfortably gain himself a good for age place and a fantastic 3rd place in his age category.
“That’s all I wanted!” He tells me later in the day “That gets me into the London Marathon next year, I am so pleased”
Next to complete the 26.2 mile journey was Matt Fletcher in 3hrs 52 mins a remarkable achievement considering his recent double hernia diagnosis. Not far behind him was Marathon rookie Richard Bezer who ran a blinding debut to finish a minute later.
“I was so tired when I’d finished I could hardly open my eyes!”
Kev Rann was over the line next, followed by the first of the ladies Lou Howell, both a little slower than they’d hoped as the sunshine took its toll.
“Sun, heat, hills…. that was tough!!” the pocket rocket Howell says on Facebook.
The weather didn’t affect everyone however as Steve Horsey smashed it out the park with a 13 minute PB. Next home was Judy McCabe who battled a recurring back injury from 8 miles onwards to still finish in 4 and a half hours. Our other debutant Nick Dover, (Lou Howells brother) was the next to complete the 26.2 mile challenge, showing real grit and determination to finish the job in under 5 hours. Last but by no means least was Nick Scott-Denness to close the show for the Roadrunners team.
Steve Bennett- 3.41.02
Matt Fletcher- 3.52.51
Richard Bezer- 3.53.51
Kevin Rann- 4.20.49
Lou Dover- 4.26.00
Steve Horsey- 4.26.16
Judy McCabe- 4.30.16
Nick Scott-Denness- 5.04.02
The 1/2 marathon started an hour later, again from Palmerston Park. A fantastic turn out of 4700 lined up to tackle the single lap race, 12 of them Roadrunners. The course was just the 1 lap, but the sun was creeping ever higher in the sky and the temperature rising.
Ivan Ward was the first Roadrunner home being the only club member to make it home in under 2 hours. It was hard graft as they made their way around the 13 mile course, but they all made it safely round and collected their medals at the finish.
Ivan Ward- 1.54.37
Keith Ruth- 2.03.22
Sue Meredith – 2.13.00
Dave Wilcock – 2.14.56
Alison Butcher – 2.19.13
Nick Carter – 2.22.39
Bridget Keyte – 2.30.16
Callie Hatcher – 2.33.47
Sam Grist – 2.35.43
Suzannah Lovett – 2.41.29
Debbie Radestock – 2.41.30
Jo Randall – 2.51.00
Lyn Snow – 3.09.43
10.30am saw the last race of the day get underway. The 10k saw 1600 runners participate. Only 2 Roadrunners chose the shorter distance. Dave Cass after a long period of injury, tackled his first race for a while. He came into the finish at Guildhall Square in the respectable time of under 50 mins whilst Sarah Ward crossed the line less than 5 minutes later.
Dave Cass – 49.45
Sarah Ward – 53.27