HALF MARATHON: Over 750 runners take part in fourth annual Rugby Half Marathon

The breakaway group in the Rugby Half Marathon on Sunday
The breakaway group in the Rugby Half Marathon on Sunday

Success for local athletes

Sunday saw the fourth running of the annual Rugby Half Marathon with great success for local athletes.

Winner Alistair McDonnell and runner-up Stephen Marks - both of Rugby & Northampton AC - took the lead after seven miles

Winner Alistair McDonnell and runner-up Stephen Marks - both of Rugby & Northampton AC - took the lead after seven miles

The race started and finished at Lawrence Sheriff School’s Hart Field in Lower Hillmorton Road, with the route following two laps around Barby Lane and Onley Lane - coming back into Rugby along the Great Central Way. Over 750 runners of all abilities entered the race, which proved a challenge to all those to took part.

The race itself saw a group of five athletes break away over the opening miles. This group was reduced to two runners after mile 7 of the 13.1 mile course as Rugby & Northampton AC athletes Alistair McDonnell and Stephen Marks battled it out over the remaining miles.

The pair remained locked together until the final section on Lower Hilmorton Road, when Alistair surged ahead to win in an impressive time of 76 mins 8 secs with Stephen just a few seconds behind. Third place was taken by another local runner, as triathlete Matthew Glenn crossed the line in a time just under 78 minutes. The first female was Sophie Booth of Black Pear Joggers in an excellent time of 86 mins 29 secs just ahead of second placed athlete Nathalie Bhanghal of Leamington AC. Third place female and first Masters was local runner Sally Baker (Rugby & Northampton AC), who completed the course in a truly impressive time 89 mins 14 seconds.

On the podium (from left) 3rd Matthew Glenn, 1st Alistair McDonnell,  2nd Stephen Marks

On the podium (from left) 3rd Matthew Glenn, 1st Alistair McDonnell, 2nd Stephen Marks

Sally Baker clocked 89-14 for third in the ladies' race and first in the Masters

Sally Baker clocked 89-14 for third in the ladies' race and first in the Masters