P-P-P-Pick up the pace at Farnborough
Farnborough's penguin-themed Winter Half was on ice until July
England's footballers couldn't quite bring it home on Sunday (11 July) but the 773 finishers in the penguin-themed Farnborough Winter Half certainly did...
Penguin-themed? Winter Half? Yes, this was the six-month delayed Farnborough Winter Half by 2:09 Events - the company owned by former London Marathon winner Mike Gratton that commemorates his PB victory in the capital in 1983.
Race winner Stephen Blake (Aldershot, 1:11:03) made better progress than the ever-popular penguin race mascots as he won by a clear three minutes from Russell Murphy (1:14:06) and Ian Bailey (1:15:51). Blake set his PB of 1:08:54 at the Goodwood Running Grand Prix Half Marathon in April and won the Run Dorney Half Marathon at Windsor (1:11:07) last month.
Two W40 masters led the women's field on this flat, fast course around Farnborough Aerospace Centre and Farnborough Airfield. Lesley Locks (1:18:51) - making it a double victory for the Aldershot club - and Alexandra Cook (1:21:11) were the experienced pair at the front and were joined on the podium by Hannah Pullen (1:21:32).
There were 70 athletes inside 90 minutes and Finn Nugent (1:59:55) was the final runner to see less than two hours on the clock as he finished 475th overall. There were 773 registered finishers in 3:11:46.
The weather for this one-off summer version was a lot warmer than the usual January chill and Mike Gratton was delighted with the support of the competitors when he said: “After such a stop-start running year we were very pleased to be back with the Farnborough Winter Half – in July! It might be the height of the summer, but we kept the Penguin theme going at this event – it just adds to the fun".
Farnborough Winter Half did proceed last year on 26 January and the winners - in suitably snowy conditions - were Denmark's Casper Højsgaard Jensen (HMRC Racing, 1:10:37) and GB international Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers, 1:15:39) - a notable non-starter this year.
Results are available via runABC South's comprehensive race listing here
Image: Farnborough Winter Half courtesy 2:09 Events