17th annual Grunty Fen Half Marathon
RUNNERS hailed from far and wide to take part in the 17th annual Grunty Fen Half Marathon on Sunday. Ely Runners won the men’s team race with Ian Day, John Crisp, Simon Jackson and Paul Needham recoding a combined time of 5:41:35, just 15 seconds better t
RUNNERS hailed from far and wide to take part in the 17th annual Grunty Fen Half Marathon on Sunday.
Ely Runners won the men’s team race with Ian Day, John Crisp, Simon Jackson and Paul Needham recoding a combined time of 5:41:35, just 15 seconds better than second-placed Werrington Joggers.
Race director John Turner said: “To my memory this is the first time that an Ely Runners team has won this race because the vast majority of the club’s runners are involved in organising everything.”
He added: “The female runners performed particularly well on the day and the top two women were not far off course records.”
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The race, which is organised by Ely Runners and sponsored by The Atrium, is widely seen to be the biggest annual sporting event in East Cambridgeshire.
It has achieved a Gold Standard from the British Association of Road Races for the high level of organisation, facilities and safety.
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The 13.1 mile course started and finished at Witchford Village College. It consisted of two eccentric loops around Grunty Fen that join in Witchford’s Main Street.
Peterborough AC runner Ashley Allen won the men’s race with 1hr 15min 47sec, beating second-placed Mark Dickinson by 32 seconds.
North Herts Road Runner Astrid McKeown was victorious in the women’s race with 1:20:48, with second-placed Helen Decker recording 1:21:35 and Jane Preen in third with 1:25:57.
North Hearts Road Runners won the women’s team race. McKeown, Melissa Winters and Jane Chappell recording 4:27:18, and there were also prizes for runners in various age categories.
Five hundred and thirty six runners finished the Grunty Fen Half Marathon.
The oldest runner, at 76, was John Butcher.
For the first time the Association of Running Clubs (ARC) Half Marathon National Championships was incorporated into the race along with the Cambs Road Race League and the Cambs AA County Championships.
Another first was competitors using a chip timing system with start and finish detection.
Sixty four people took part in a fun run of roughly one mile on the day.
Michael Smith finished first and Stephanie Burton was the first female to complete the course.
All races were started by the mayor of Ely, councillor Ron Bradney.
Mr Turner said: “We’ve had a lot off feedback already and it’s been nothing but compliments so I want to thank everybody who gave up their Sunday and helping to make sure that this spectacular event went ahead.”