Enjoying a new route for Sunday’s race, runners at the English Half Marathon (EHM) were treated to a fitting finale at the town’s Golden Gates. The event, which also included a 10K, saw entries soar towards the 5,000 mark in what was the EHM’s 7th year.
Departing the town hall, runners headed to South Warrington to Appleton Thorn before taking in Bridge Foot, the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Bridge Street and The Cultural Quarter before finishing at the Golden Gates.
The half marathon saw Daniel Cliffe take top place in 1:07:44, almost two minutes ahead of second placed Degene Gezimu (1:09:29), with Matt Cullen in third (1:13:56). Felicity Milton of German running club Team Memmert led the female field home in 1:07:44, with Louise Blizzard (1:25:24) and Victoria Walls following (1:25:28).
In the 10k, meanwhile, Burnden’s Philip Eccleston matched his PB (which he set at the Wigan 10K just two weeks ago) with victory in 34:07, Colin Bishop secured second (35:02) and Charlie Batho third (35:59). Julia Trayhorn was the top female finisher in 42:40, with Kelly Crossley (42:55) and Jane Mitchell (43:01). The mid-point runner was Sandra Ellison (56:58), while the last competitor came home in 2:14:19.
Rob Griffiths, race director, commented: “It’s been a fantastic day. It’s the culmination of a lot of training for the runners, and a lot of hard work from the team. The Golden Gates finish has been something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, and it was really worth the wait. I hope the runners agree, this year was really something memorable.”
“The journey we have taken over the last few years has been staggering. In 2012 we were a 1,200 entrant race within the local calendar. Today we had over three times that amount, with over five languages being spoken on the start line; just incredible!’