Fleet Of Foot Assemble
Fast times at Fleet’s Pre-London Half Marathon
It could hardly have been closer as there were hard-fought victories and tremendous finishes in both men’s and women’s races at the Fleet & Crookham AC hosted the 'Pre-London' Fleet Half Marathon on Sunday 26 March 2023.
Fleet Half Marathon started more than 40 years ago on 4 April 1982 and has been providing fast times and essential London Marathon test beds for athletes ever since. The race returned last year after a three-year absence with 1,447 finishers and there were 1,758 this year who were all home in just over three hours.
As for those close finishes, the first two men were separated by two seconds, with defending champion Kurt Taylor (Bristol & West AC, 1:06:03) determined not to be defeated by GB international mountain runner Maximilian Nicholls (Kent AC, 1:06:05 PB) – who probably would have preferred a few more hills!
Third place went to Max Walker (Army, 1:06:46) with a massive improvement on his 1:14:41 PB from 2018. There were eight men inside 70 minutes on the fast Fleet 13.1-mile course.
Equally fleet of foot were the leading ladies as W35 Claire Jacobs (Hadleigh Hares, 1:17:10) had the marginally more comfortable cushion of six seconds in hand over Katie Olding (Thames Valley Harriers, 1:17:16 PB). Third-placed W35 Vicki Ingham (Poole Runners, 1:18:38 PB) was among the five elite women who beat 80 minutes at Fleet.
There were more than 300 runners under 90 minutes and around 1,250 inside two hours as marathon credentials were burnished and/or half marathon personal bests obliterated. Pace Makers were provided for 1:30, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10, and 2:20 finish times and there were much-appreciated free professional race photos at this founder member event of the British Association of Road Races.
Race results and previous reports at runABC South race listing here.
Photo courtesy Fleet Half Marathon on Facebook