Young and Old Enjoy Great Atmosphere at Henley Half Marathon & 10K

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Runners of all ages enjoyed the Henley Half Marathon, 10K run and 1 Mile Challenge yesterday in the sunshine.  This was the 35th half marathon and 10K run organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge.

James Turner from Brighton won the Henley Half Marathon which is sponsored by Invesco Perpetual in 1:14:16.  It was the first time James had entered and was here visiting his girlfriend Rosie Neill who lives in Marlow.  Rosie also had a great run, coming second in the ladies 10K race.  James said, “I don’t think it was a great time as I raced in the National Road Relay yesterday in Birmingham but it was a great warm up for the Manchester Half Marathon next weekend.”

James beat Adam Wood from Henley by 3 secs.  Adam runs the Henley Marathon every year and improved his position from 3rd last year to 2nd this year.  Eight times Henley Half Marathon Winner, Ben Reynolds had to pull out of the race after his knee went on Henley Bridge.  Ben said, “My knee then went six more times and thought it was time to give up.”

Olivia Partington from Lancaster won the Ladies Half Marathon in 1:31:24.  She said, “I turned up this morning and Margarate Maton kindly gave me a chip as she had 2.  It’s the first time I’ve run the course which is the nicest course I’ve run.  It is really picturesque and the people have been really lovely too.  This is my fifth half marathon.  I’m content with the time.  Describing the hill, Olivia replied, “Its a long arduous number!”

Peter White, who was the oldest half marathon runner, aged 87 years young! He completed the course in great time of 2:50:28.

Adam Hunt who was running for Tri Henley/Shiplake College won the 10K race in 40:33 time.  He was delighted to win after coming third last year.  He said, “It seemed to go better than last year and I had a good race.  The hill was hard but enjoyed coming back down.”

Carrie Hopkins from Henley who normally runs the Half Marathon was the first lady home in the 10k run in a time of 42:21.  “I’m in the middle of my marathon training and it was the first time I’ve run the 10K.  I am really pleased with the time and I loved the hill!”

Paul Nelis, running for Exiles Derry, Reading was the first 10K veteran home in 43:20.  He said, “I love this course, it is the most picturesque.” John Piera from Barcelona ran the 10K course for the first time.  He was visiting friends in Reading and thought he’d enter.  He said, “I found the hill really difficult.”

130 runners also completed the Go Kids 1 mile challenge around the top fields at Swiss Farm.  This was the second year this event ran alongside the half marathon and 10K.  Henry Pennington from Trinity School won the race.  Eileen Unwin from Go Kids said, “We were really pleased with the success of the event which was obviously helped by the beautiful setting overlooking Henley and the weather too.  Bertie’s Slippers was fantastic in warming up the entrants and brought a fun party atmosphere to the event.  We hope to see more participants next year and grow the event further.”

Tim and his daughters Ella (12) and Martha (9) Dickson from Henley were the official starters of the 10K and then ran the course together.  They were raising money for Helen and Douglas House Children’s Hospice. Martha finished first before Ella and her Dad.  They all did it just over the hour.

Owyn Thatcher from Henley and Ben Wiltshire completed their first ever Half Marathon in 1 hr 31.20 raising over £1,000 to be split between the Chiltern Centre & Kidney Cancer UK. They chose these charities because Owyn’s brother uses The Chiltern Centre and his Aunty Ruth (Thatcher) sadly died of kidney cancer.

A team of nearly 70 runners from Shiplake CE Primary School PTFA took part in Sunday’s runs. Ciaran Askin was the official starter of the Half Marathon. 40 children and 8 adults competed in the Go Kids One Mile Challenge and 19 people ran the 10K or Half Marathons. Everyone was sponsored and so far the team has raised an amazing £3,200, with more sponsorship still coming in!

Cath Moulds said, “We are thrilled to have raised so much for our wonderful school. All the funds raised will go towards an artificial grass surface in the playground, allowing children to play and take part in PE on a much softer surface. It was fantastic to have so many of our families turn up to enjoy this community event. There were lots of smiley faces enjoying post run cakes at our supporters gazebo! Thank you to the Rotary Club and Go Kids for organising this fantastic event and helping us raise much appreciated funds for our school playground project.”

Paul Harrison from Rotary Club said, “The sun was shining and the wind was very light so we couldn’t have wished for better weather.  This obviously led to an increased number of competitors turning up on the day.  This was the first ever year we’d run out of data chips.  Next year we’ll order more to prevent this happening again but I advise booking beforehand to save yourself time at registration. It was great to see so many runners enjoying themselves and to see a number of friends crossing the finishing line together was a joy.  There were a number of hero’s out there on the course, I remember the runner of 81 completing the Half Marathon course which made a lot of us standing around the finishing line guilty of the excuses we find to not compete. A big thank you must go to everyone who helped make this event possible, without these it would not be possible to run the event. It is still a provisional estimate but we should have raised at least £12,500 for our charities after the cost incurred in running the events have been deducted.”

Well done to everyone who ran.  The full results can be found here.