It was pain and glory at Sunday’s (7 July) Ashbourne Half Marathon in the shape of stunning scenery and tough hills. Winners Gareth Lowe and Katherine Wood were more than up to the task.
The Ashbourne Half Marathon and 5K Run in the Park incorporated the 2019 British Masters Half Marathon Championships with the latter upping the competitive ante for many taking part. It was managed by Nice Work on behalf of Ashbourne Running Club and promised a challenging race in Jane Austen country.
The race was held in the historic market town of Ashbourne and a record number of runners waited beneath red, white and blue bunting for the 9.30am start. They set off from the market place, did a loop around the town and back again then continued towards Mappleton and the first of two hills. They climbed up Thorpe hill (221m) then on to Illam and up Blore hill (235m), on to Okeover Park then Mappleton before heading back towards the finish in Ashbourne.
Gareth Lowe of Clowne Road Runners was first across the line in 1:14:32; over a minute and a half ahead of Anthony Woodward of Midland Masters AC, second in 1:16:17. Matthew Shaw of Chorlton Runners was third in 1:17:17.
Katherine Wood of Sale Harriers won the women’s race in 1:21:19; with nearly three minutes between her and Julie Briscoe of Wakefield Harriers & AC who came second in 1:24:05. Fee Maycock of Cheltenham & County Harriers was third in 1:31:48.
Gareth and Katherine were each presented with £80 as the 1st male and female. There were cash prizes for the 2nd and 3rd male and female and age category winners and a bespoke medal for every finisher.