Darth Vader made an appearance at Sunday’s (17 September) Rutland Marathon and Half Marathon. However, the Star Wars villain was on a fundraising mission.
Mark Saunders from Woking entered the marathon dressed as Darth Vader to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. He has set himself the challenge of running more than 100 marathons in every county across the UK and finished Sunday’s race in a time of 3:59:50. Known as ‘Marathon Mark’, he has raced on behalf of several cancer charities as a way of thanking them for the support they’ve given to him and his family.
More than 700 runners took part in the marathon, team marathon and half marathon on an undulating multi-terrain route around Rutland Water Reservoir. The marathon route included the Hambleton Peninsula, a local attraction which is popular with cyclists and walkers. The family-organised event is one of four along with a NightSwim, Spring Half Marathon and Swim Rutland and attracted runners from across the country.
Marcin Sosna of Corby AC won the Rutland Marathon in 3:11:03. Ewelina Puchala of the Da Vinci Team was the fastest female in 3:44:48.
Gareth Matthews of Team Amantani took first place in the Rutland Half Marathon, finishing in 1:17:58. Natalie Teece of Stilton Striders won the women’s race in 1:28:59. A full set of results can be found on our race listings
Fine weather, cheerful marshals and supportive crowds ensured spirits remained high until the end. Everyone who finished received a bespoke medal and T-shirt and a much-needed massage.