There must have been something in the air as more than 5,000 people ran in the second ABP Southampton Half Marathon and a further 1,130 competed in the 10k on Sunday (April 24). Love played its part as the longer event was won by a couple and even included a finish line proposal for another pair.
Southampton AC’s Matthew Revier (1:11:11) and his girlfriend Laura Brenton (1:22:19) were popular local winners as Matthew, aged 26, lives in Shirley and works in Chandlers Ford and Laura (29) is a PE teacher from Bassett. There was a brief Cinderella moment at the start as Laura lost a shoe in the melee but chivalrous Matthew stopped to assist and as soon as the wardrobe malfunction was rectified he was off like a shot and caught the leading pack at Ocean Village after two miles.
Pete Baksh (Beckenham, 1:11:28) and Jack Kosky (Crawley, 1:15:30) were the runners-up and Laura’s closest pursuers were Kath Bailey (Winchester, 1:23:33) and Jessica Bennett (Lordshill, 1:23:42).
The proposal came from sub-2 hour pacemaker, Jack Lawrence (1:59:53), who we hope did not have to wait too long on one knee for the answer from girlfriend H’Eloise Hunt!
The main race was started by the Saints’ celebrated FA Cup winning manager Lawrie McMenemy and there was a strong football connection as entrants included club chairman Ralph Krueger and Saints legend Matt Le Tissier.
The 10k option appealed to Tom Stevens (Eastleigh, 34:27) who finished well clear of Keir Sulivan (Winchester, 35:49) and Phil Coleman (Tonbridge, 38:08). Anna Whitfield (Basildon, 38:04) was a superb third overall, followed by Hannah Howard (Eastleigh, 38:35) and Laura Brooks (Basildon, 39:41). The mid-placed runner was Lucy Dotsie in exactly 60 minutes (59:26 on chip times).
Full details at the race website