Good weather helped over 500 runners achieve commendable performances and personal bests despite the testing nature of the course in the Kent Coastal Marathon and Half Marathon sponsored by County Solicitors on Sunday (3 September).
Benjamin And Barnett Coast To Victory
Runners aged 17 to 75, travelling from as far afield as Australia and Russia, assembled at Palm Bay, Cliftonville for the race, which follows the picturesque Thanet coastline through Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate in warm conditions with the familiar sea breeze in the area.
The marathon saw 170 finishers headed by unattached runner Steve-John Benjamin (2:49:06). Colin Tricker (Paddock Wood, 2:51:56), Steve Nimmo (M45 Orpington, 2:56:41) and Huntley Roberts (Dartford Harriers, 2:59:55) were also inside three hours. Keith Dowson (M50 Sevenoaks, 3:00:35) was agonisingly close to that threshold and the host club's latest Ironman triathlete Bradley Cameron (Thanet Roadrunners, 3:04:09) was cheered home in sixth place.
Sharon Barnett (W40 Maidstone Harriers, 3:29:48) achieved her most significant victory to date in the women's marathon. Tunbridge Wells Harriers' Nicola Morris (W45, 3:36:12) and Sarah Maguire (W45 Canterbury Harriers, 3:39:26) completed an all masters podium.
Springfield Striders' James Wright took the honours in the half marathon (1:19:17) from unattached athlete Simon Wilson (1:23:15) and Henry Willis of Maidstone Harriers (1.24.02). Over-40 masters Emma Hollands (Paddock Wood, 1:35:54), Emily Gelder (Dulwich Runners, 1:36:24) and Fiona Tester (Canterbury Harriers, 1:36:56) finished in consecutive places in a close women's battle for honours.
Jon Holl, race director, said: “The County Solicitors Kent Coastal Marathon and Half Marathon is a major event for the club and involves huge support from the sponsors, club members and supporting organisations. What makes it a special marathon is the fantastic scenery and the near legendary support of the marshals and spectators. The marshals are all club runners and residents and care that the race works like clockwork that the runners get the support they need and the spectators enjoy themselves”.
Full race details and results are available at runABC South race listings.
Image of Joss Bay courtesy Thanet Roadrunners