The 1,613 finishers in the 26th Torbay Half Marathon on Sunday (25 June) were pleased the temperature had dropped since the previous week's record figures. Exmouth Harriers had a great day on the English Riviera with the first two men and men's team prizes, but Torbay AAC had the locals cheering for their women's team award.
Exmouth Harriers' Tom Merson (1:10:51) and Berihu Hadera (1:12:46) led a colourful throng on the traffic free, two-lap route that started and finished at Eastern Esplanade, Paignton and took in stunning coastal views across Torbay.
After a lap of Paignton Green the course headed towards Torquay, passing historic Torre Abbey and Princess Gardens before turning at the Pavilion roundabout for the return leg to Paignton. The second lap extended slightly to a spectacular finish just past Paignton Pier. While attractive, the course was far from flat, but a generous prize list worth over £3,000 certainly got the pace going at the front!
Phil Burden (Taunton AC) completed the top three in a precise 1:13:00 and there were good quality age category wins for M40 James Watson (Taunton, 1:14:10) and M50 Graham Bale (Plymstock Road Runners, 1:19:11).
Serane Stone (W40 Tiverton Harriers, 1:21:52) took the women's prize from Annabel Granger (W40 Bristol & West, 1:22:47) and Charlie Arnell (Torbay AAC, 1:26:43), with higher age-group awards for W45 Alison Dewynter (Royal Navy, 1:31:40) and W55 Cathy Newman (Exmouth Harriers, 1:29:09).
Despite the testing nature of the course, more than 80 runners broke 90 minutes; 700 beat two hours and the final finisher stopped the clock at 3:47:56.