There was an Anglo-French ‘entente cordiale’ at Saturday’s (13 May) inaugural Chillington Hall Half Marathon in South Staffordshire. A team of runners from Parisian club ASC Drancy flew over to the UK to take part with two members winning age category prizes. The continental theme even extended to the race refreshments with participants given the opportunity to recover via French-themed mobile catering unit The Little Camion Creperie.
ASC Drancy's Gerard Melka won the M50-59 category in 1:33:39 and was sixth overall. Clubmate Kevin Pedrosa won the MU18 category in 1:34:50 and was seventh overall. Magalie Hernandez was the club's highest placed female in 65th place.
The newest addition to the Mash Running family was a sell-out affair with nearly 400 runners following a well-marked, scenic course that presented a tough but enjoyable challenge.
The event was held at Chillington Hall, the official residence of the Giffard family since 1178 and the setting for historic tours, film locations and civil ceremonies. The Hall and its private grounds were a factor in its successful debut with the organisers receiving numerous enquiries about entries for the 2018 race.