Mercer Surrey Half is bang on form
Surrey's largest half marathon sees closest ever finish
There were more than 2,300 finishers in three races in a terrific return to form for Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday (6 March). This was the ninth annual running of this event that pushed on through the Covid restrictions with a postponed race in September last year.
Entries were up by almost 1,000 in an encouraging sign that the pandemic is behind us and the flagship half marathon saw 1,571 finishers in three and a half hours claiming one of the bold 2022 medals (pictured above) that included an illustration of Surrey's only closed-road 13.1-mile race route.
The leading four runners beat 70 minutes as Craig Ruddy (Inverclyde, 1:08:25) just held off local star Stephen Blake (Woking, 1:08:26) in the closest finish seen at Woking Leisure Centre since Sammy Nyokaye set the course record (1:02:42) by two seconds from fellow Kenyan athlete Peter Limo.
Also running sub-70 minutes on Sunday were Chris Powner (Winchester, 1:09:31) and M40 master Patrick Martin (Waverley, 1:09:35) – who was making his debut over 13.1-miles.
The women's race saw a clear victory for Emma Styles (Nuneaton, 1:15:08) with a cracking personal ahead of Josie Hinton (London Heathside, 1:19:09) and Cordelia Parker (Abingdon, 1:19:37).
The supporting 5K was headed by Ben Warren (University of Bristol AC, 16:02) and Anastasia Hounslow (Blackwater Valley Runners, 18:47) as 24 runners beat 20mins and 268 finished inside an hour.
It was encouraging to see a capacity entry for the 2K Kids Run, where the fastest was Seddef Huseynova (7:10), who was well ahead of the first boy Luca de Giovanni (7:59), and 467 others.
The Race Organiser/AAT Events were joint promoters of this British Association of Road Races Gold Award event that features free race photos, training plans, a huge medal, instant chip-timed results by krono:sports, full medical support, and live music around the course.
runABC South race listing has the full results and reports
Image courtesy Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Facebook