Wallsend Harriers' Yared Hagos gave an outstanding performance in Sunday's (February 26) Lifestyle Renault Tunbridge Wells half marathon. The Ethiopian athlete, who is also a listed runner for Bradford Airedale, surpassed the long-standing course record as he finished the race in 64:15.
The race was started and supported by Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, and 2107 runners successfully completed the undulating course. Hagos took an early and commanding lead, finishing over four minutes ahead of second-placed Paul Marteletti (1:09:10), with Matthew Bennett coming in third position.
Hagos'performance also proved to be financially fruitful, as there was a £1,000 bonus for anyone breaking the course record. Indeed, the sponsors were using the cheque book again not long after Hagos crossed the finish line with Helen Davies finishing in a record time in the women's field. The Ipswich Jaffa runner surpassed the previous record by over a minute, completing the course in 1:12:41; Tina Oldershaw finished in second position in a time of 1:21:56.
A single-lap course, the Tunbridge Wells half marathon takes runners through Bigborough, Penshurst, Fordcome, and Southborough. Organised by Tunbridge Wells Harriers, all profits for the event go to Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.