Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon Sunday 22nd March
Following three years of inclement weather, runners were greeted this year with clear skies, no wind and some early spring sunshine. This ever popular half marathon, had sold its 5300 available places by early in the New Year. While many ran for charity or to achieve a personal milestone, the entries at the sharp end were impressive.
Before the race, there was talk of course records possibly being broken. Whispers of elite athletes who wanted to race the Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon were being heard, particularly as race day drew closer. In the end, the men’s course record remained, still belonging to Isaac Macharia with a time of 61.52 in 2004. It was left to a lady to grab the headlines. Perendis Lekapana of Kenya was the one to break the ladies course record winning the ladies race in a new record time of 71.24, beating the existing course record held by Michelle Ross–Cope of City of Stoke by 38 seconds. Michelle had to settle for second in a time of 72.02, and just outside her existing course record.
The overall race winner was Ben Siwa of Uganda in a time of 64.57. In previous years Ben has represented Uganda in the World Cross Country Championships. A couple of hundred metres behind and in second place was Tadele Geremew of Elswick Harriers, finishing in 65.23… But only by the slimmest of margins. In third place but also in 65.23 was Patrick Martin of Stockport. The two were neck and neck for the entire length of the finish straight, as the crowd roared the pair to the line.
The first Wilmslow runner home was Damian Nicholls in 72.28 and 32nd place.
In the ladies race, third place went to Rebecca Robinson of Kendal in 73.52, with Stockport International Elle Vernon in fourth (and wife of Steve Vernon, himself an international Cross-Country runner).
With the better weather, the organisers had access to a full range of car parking facilities meaning that delays were significantly reduced. As always, the race committee is grateful to the public for their co-operation.
The Stroke Association were the designated charity for this year’s race with over 100 runners supporting the charity. The organising committee is indebted to lead sponsor Waters, additionally the support provided by Running Bear and Running Imp.
As runners left for home, the dismantling of the course started. Another year completed! If you too want to be part of the Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon, 2016 entries will open late autumn.