In what was a record attendance for the event, more than 4000 runners completed the Asics Wilmslow half marathon on Sunday, March 25. Competitors enjoyed warm and sunny conditions for the race, with Sale Harriers' Anthony Ford taking first position in 1:04:54 and Catherine Ansell on top in the female field.
Regarded as one of the premier events in the north west, the half marathon is a flat, one lap course that takes runners through the leafy lanes of Wilmslow and Mobberley. Organised by Wilmslow Running Club, this is the fourth consecutive year in which the race has incorporated the English half marathon championship.
Ford finished more than two minutes ahead of second placed Tomas Abyu, with the Salford Harriers runner coming in at 1:07:09. Ford's club mate Gareth Raven took third position in 1:07:19. In the women's field, Herne Hill Harriers took first and second with Rosalind Kieran coming in 20 seconds behind first placed Catherine Ansell.
In Northumberland meanwhile, Michael Morris headed a 700-strong field in the Run Northumberland half marathon. Around 600 participants were expected to line-up for the race, but the warm conditions enticed many more to take to the tarmac for the second outing of one of the north east's newest and most scenic events.
Given their starting orders by north east Olympic hopeful Stacey Smith, Michael Morris of Morpeth Harriers, took first place in a time of 1:13:29, with Conrad Franks coming in second place (1:13:55). Fiona Taylor, an unattached runner from St Andrews in Scotland, won the women's race in a time of 1:34:54.
Both the Wilmslow half marathon and Run Northumberland half marathon results are available at northernrunningguide.com.