Over 1000 runners took to the streets of Chesterfieldon Sunday (14 September) to compete in the largest mass participation event the town has witnessed in more than three decades. Gareth Lowe, 41, secured victory in first ever Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon, with Dave Archer, sporting blue and white body paint to replicate his chosen charity’s mascot, taking top billing in the 13.1 mile event.
The event was started by comedian Mick Miller, with runners from as far and wide as the United States, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands and Spain all taking part. Competitors were raising money for children’s charity Kids ‘n’ Cancer UK and other local causes.
Dave Archer, 31, of Holymoorside, was the first half marathon runner to cross the finish line with a time of 1:13:24. Dave, who completed the course in body paint to honour Parkinson UK’s mascot, commented after the race: “The event has been amazing, with a real buzz about it. Set in a beautiful park and with proceeds going to some fantastic local causes, it’s been brilliant. I’ll be back next year to do the full marathon.”
In the marathon, Clowne Road Runners’ Gareth Lowe (2:37:48) secured a convincing victory, almost ten minutes ahead of second placed Tim Clayton (2:46:16), with Robert Burn in third with a time of 2:51:14. In the women’s field, Ambleside’s Helen Mort recorded a winning time and PB of 3:06:16, with Emily Hargreaves ten minutes behind (3:16:11) and Nicola Wright in third place 3:26:10.
Gareth was equally complimentary about the race, adding: “I’m delighted to have won the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon. It was a really good course, and the support from spectators was fantastic. I was trying to high five as many of them as I could as their support makes a real difference.”
In addition to the running events, there was family entertainment in the form of a fun fair, Blackpool Children’s Circus, human statues, children’s entertainers and street entertainment, plus market stalls, food and beer tents, live music and a firework display in Queen’s Park to round off the day. Mike Hyman, from Kids ‘n’ Cancer UK and co-founder of the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon with wife June, said: “It has been an absolutely wonderful event, and it’s great to see so many people turn up and get behind such a great cause.
“This is just the start, and the first of many Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathons. Our intention is to make Chesterfield one of the best towns in the country for marathons in the future. We want to fill this town with people from all around the world.”