St Albans Half Marathon 2023

Ice Lolly Shortage In St Albans

St Albans Mayor is running for office

On one of the hottest days of the year so far, the 41st 'ice lolly run' was more challenging than usual as the temperature soared towards 30C in ancient Verulamium Park, the venue for the St Albans Half Marathon and 5K run on Sunday 11 June 2023.

St Albans is unusual in that it includes a walking half marathon category and this was jointly led by M50 David Clamp and non-binary M60 Bruce McKinnon in 2:19:35 (gun times) with Lucy O'Neill (2:51:09) leading the women's category. Our picture above shows W50 Kit Man (3:31:52) after completing the walking event and enjoying her ice lolly and medal, more about which later.

St Albans Half Marathon was started in 1982 by local businessman Phil Gibson and has been a very successful charity fundraiser with more than a million pounds raised over the years. The race has been held annually since 1982, apart from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's half marathon saw 1,691 finishers in 3:44:44 and a popular local winner, M40 Paul Adams (St Albans Striders, 1:15:44). Paul's nearest opponents were Jonathan Yeates (Barnet & District AC, 1:16:29) and M40 French athlete Nicolas Besson (Serpentine RC, 1:20:23) in an attritional race where personal bests were as rare as hen's teeth.

Last year's women's champion returned for a successful defence and finished eighth overall. W45 Kate Rennie (Dacorum & Tring AC, 1:23:10) was nearly three minutes slower than in the 40th-anniversary race in 2022, but this was arguably the better performance as she was 16th on that occasion. Kate shared the podium with W45 Trudi Beloou (Best Athletics, 1:30:57) and Neringa Cobb (Harpenden Arrows, 1:32:53).

Pictured below is St Albans Mayor, Anthony Rowlands (M70, 2:21:54) in spirited finish-line action in his St Albans Striders vest.

Another St Albans Striders representative headed the 352 finishers in the supporting 5K race. Matthew Cooper (M40, 17:31) was first back to Verulamium Park, with under-20 junior Jemima Samols (23:46) leading the women home.

There were a few logistical issues this year as the ice lollies ran out and the medals failed to make the finish line. Organisers ATW quickly apologised by email to competitors and medals were handed out later when they did arrive and will be posted to anyone who missed out. Good luck with getting your ice lolly in the post, though!

Results and previous reports at runABC South race listing here.

Photo: St Albans Half Marathon on Facebook

St Albans Mayor finishes half marathon

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