Half Marathon

Decent spring weather blessed the 2009 Reading Half Marathon. This, combined with a fast paced course, resulted in some spectacular running times from both UK and overseas runners

Over 17,000 runners entered the race, 1000 more than in 2008.

Taking the lead, and ultimately winning the race, was Kenya's Kiplimo Kimutai with a time of 1:02:46, closely followed some 5 seconds later by Belgrave's Philip Wicks with a time of 1:02:51. Windsor, Slough & Eton's Benedict Whitby came in third place with a time of 1:03:43. Another 20 runners finished within 1:10.

The women's race was won by another Kenyan, Joyce Kirui, in a time of 1:12:49, followed in second place by Louise Damen in 1:23:59 and shortly after by Susie Bushe in third place with a time of 1:14:46.          www.readinghalfmarathon.com

Sheffield Half Marathon

The first marathon was run in Sheffield in 1929, going from Barkers Pool to Niagra Sports Ground. Sixty years later it is a very different event and has been held continuously since 1982.

The course runs through the city centre, which attracts large crowds of supporters and various bands including the Sheffield vocal group, Gemolade. The half marathon has replaced the marathon as the number of entries was decreasing and it was becoming more difficult to close the city centre for up to six hours due to the introduction of Sunday trading.

The 2009 half marathon, which started and finished in the Don Valley Stadium, attracted 5,500 runners and was supported by the Fun Run which was open to all including wheelchairs and pushchairs. All half-marathon entrants were awarded a t-shirt and medal and participants in the Fun Run were awarded a certificate. The male winner for the half marathon was Jason Ward with a time of 1:08:02 and the female winner was Rebecca Robinson with a time of 1:14:52.

         www.sheffieldmarathon.com

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