Sorry, this video asset has been removed.
Watch the runners in
The Pilgrims Hospices Canterbury Half Marathon attracted its
biggest ever entry on Sunday and is expected to raise at least
£20,000 for the charity.
More than 800 runners took on the 13 mile route through the
countryside on what proved to be the hottest day of the year so
They were set off from Canterbury Rugby Club by Mike Gratton,
running events company 2:09 Events, named after his winning time in
the 1983 London Marathon, organised the day.
The entry list included both serious runners and those tackling
the distance for the first time. But even the more experienced
competitors found the warm conditions and hilly route out to Petham
and back challenging.
The race was the fifth run in aid of the East Kent Pilgrims
Hospices and among the entrants was the charity’s head of
fund-raising and marketing, Susan Booth.
She said: "I wouldn’t put on anything that I wouldn’t be
prepared to have a go at myself but I was not expecting it to be so
hard-going and I also got a bit of sunburn.
"But the route was also very beautiful and there was an
opportunity to see some of the countryside you would normally
"The atmosphere was also fantastic and the new finishing line
this year back at the rugby club was great because it really gave
you a boost to have the spectators cheering you home."
She added: "We are so lucky to have the support of 2:09 Events
Mike and his team have so much experience.
"But our volunteers were fantastic too and I would especially
like to thank Brian Maxted of the Forest of Blean Rotary Club who
organised the marshelling and Martin Rouse of East Kent Invicta who
was able to give some very knowledgeable commentary over the PA
The event was also sponsored by Bannatynes Health Club in
Ashford which provided 500 litres of water and 800 organges for
entrants as well as a warm down for runners and balloons for
First across the finish line was Barney Southin of the
Serpentine Running Club and the first woman finisher was Tina
Oldershaw from Paddock Wood AC.
But the first local runner home was postman, Mark Baker, 37,
from Bekesbourne who runs for Canterbury Harriers and finished 13th
in a time of 1:26.14.
Fellow Canterbury Harrier and first local woman to cross the
line was Sarah Maguire in 1:30.35. All the results and times are
available at www.209events.com.
Susan added: "Next year we hope to include a shorter run of
perhaps five miles which will be more family orientated but we are
delighted the half marathan is going from strength to strength.
"This year we hope to raise at least £20,000 but it will be some
time before we get an exact figure."