A season of mists and mellow trails at the Forest of Dean Autumn Half Marathon. Sunday’s (24 September) race was for many, off-road running at its best.
Nearly 900 runners sampled the best the Forest of Dean has to offer in the form of waymarked trails, stunning woodlands, flora and fauna. The autumn half marathon is one of two races organised by the Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean who also host a spring version. The autumn event is rated as one of the top trail races in the UK.
The use of signage meant that the winner, Richard Purkiss didn’t have to call upon his map reading skills. A member of the North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club, he won the half marathon in 1:17:56. Stacey Morgan of Croft Ambrey RC was a minute behind him, finishing second in 1:18:57. Kevin McMillan of Worcester AC was third in 1:19:33.
Over in the women’s race, Tara Grosvenor was the fastest female in a time of 1:29:28. Florence Edmond of Bristol & West AC was second in 1:32:43 with Elana Dimmer of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers third in 1:34:47.
Jacob Bidmead won the 5K in 20:01 with Chloe Morgan the fastest female in 21:56.
Over 80 clubs were represented on the day, attracted by the picturesque location and a course with a few hills added to the mix. The marshals were singled out for praise as were the spectators whose support and encouragement was appreciated by everyone who took part. Many runners will return next year to do the spring and autumn double.