A record number of 3,257 runners were met with perfect racing conditions in the Cotswolds this Sunday (27 September) at Cheltenham's Half Marathon. The event saw Tipton Harriers’ Ian Williams secure victory in 1:10:27, with Bristol and West’s Annabel Grander leading the female field home.
The race was started in style by Sophie Lydia-Smith, who also took part to fundraise for the Hollie Gazzard Trust, and the Mayor of Cheltenham, Duncan Smith. The 13.1 mile course moved through broad, tree-lined avenues of the majestic Cheltenham Racecourse.
Williams, who boasts a half marathon PB of 66:20, held on to first place to finish ahead of Cheltenham and County Harriers’ pair Phil Beastall (1:11:09) and last year’s winner, Dave Roper (1:12:04).
In the women’s competition, Granger, second at the Bristol Half Marathon earlier this month, crossed the line in 1:21:10, more than a minute ahead of Amie Fithern (1:22:53), with Shona Crombie-Hicks in third (1:24:28). The mid-point finisher was Richard Bearsdall in 1:58:28, while the last runner came home in 4:18:46.
Organisers GO2 were delighted with the turnout and the inspirational crowd support shown by local residents. GO2’s Jamie Warren said: "The running community in Cheltenham never fails to impress, with their dedication and commitment to Cheltenham’s Half Marathon. We are so impressed by the growing number of runners and spectators, who together have helped make the race a real staple event in the running and social diary.
“Congratulations to everyone that took part! All of our participants should feel extremely proud of their achievements, and we hope the events success will inspire many more to sign up for next year’s event when entries open this week!” In addition to the main race, over 600 school children ran a mile as part of the Schools' Challenge in front of thousands of spectators, helping to raise money for charity partners CLIC Sargent, Cobalt Health and the Hollie Gazzard Trust.