Local pride was at stake yesterday (Sunday 25 September) at Cheltenham’s Half Marathon. This was the fourth year for this half marathon in the Regency spa town, but with a new route and location for the Race Village. Nearly 3,500 runners followed a one-lap course that started and finished at the Racecourse, taking them on a historic tour of the town.
Hundreds of runners were fundraising for official race charities Sue Ryder Hospice Care and Winston’s Wish, with many others running to support individual causes. There was additional help from 1,400 children in the Schools Challenge event who ran the last mile of the half marathon, raising money for The Cheltenham Trust.
Toby Spencer of Coventry Godiva Harriers was first past the post, winning in 1:07:13. Dave Roper of Cheltenham & County Harriers was second in 1:09:53 with teammate Ben Price in third place in 1:12:19. They were the first two runners in their team of eight who placed in the top 10 of this race, making it a clean sweep for this local club.
Annabel Granger of Bristol & West AC won the women’s race in 1:20:51 with Shona Crombie-Hicks of Cheltenham & County Harriers coming second in 1:23:49. Four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion Chrissie Wellington of BRAT was third in 1:24:30.
Unfortunately, traffic delays near the Racecourse resulted in some runners arriving too late despite the race start being held open to 9.45am to accommodate this. Some people arrived with minutes to spare and managed to run but others were not so lucky. Runners also experienced delays whilst leaving the car park at the Racecourse.
The organisers have asked those runners affected to email their race number and details about their delay to them.