Glorious conditions for MAC members at return of popular half marathon

After its postponement last year, the Wokingham Half Marathon returned in glorious conditions on Sunday, with a healthy number of Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAC) participants on the start line.

The modified route took runners through Wokingham town centre before heading out into the countryside and, while there were a few undulations on the course, several MAC runners clocked new personal bests (PBs).

Craig West was the first to return in a chip time of 1.23.29, while Alejandro Del Campo wasn't far behind in 1.24.55.

Anthony Hall (1.26.53) and Herve Bavazzano (1.28.53) also dipped below an hour and a half for the run.

Alice Albrow was MAC’s quickest female, finishing in 1.41.12.

The English National Cross Country Championships in Parliament Hill Fields in London were also held recently, with a few MAC members ticking off one of the ‘nationals’ from their bucket list of events.

The event on Hampstead Heath can lay claim to being the ‘home of cross country’ and MAC's runners knew what to expect, challenging hills and ‘mud like nothing experienced before’.

The mass women’s start was a sight to behold, with more than 1,000 getting underway at the bottom and charging for position at the top of the first hill.

Having cheered on the women and seen the club's five members home, it was the men's turn to see where they’d finish in a field of 2,100.

Christopher Sutton, Richard Pink and Jonathan Oliver agreed it was probably the hardest race they’d ever run, while Jennefer Francis summed it up perfectly by saying: “It didn’t disappoint. As tough as it was, when my lungs were gasping for air and my legs felt they had nothing more to give, I reminded myself to lift my head and take in the view; smiling at the beautiful day it was.”

In the women's race, MAC were the 54th team to finish, one place ahead of Reading's Roadrunners.

Women’s results: Fran Sille 00:39:04, Melanie Tudor 00:40:24, Ellen Easten 00:41:53, Leila Oliver 00:46:23, Jennefer Francis 00:48:29. Men's results: Jonathan Oliver 01:09:48, Christopher Sutton 01:17:01, Richard Pink 01:41:42.

Ros Cooke started the race but abandoned her race to help a runner who picked up a serious injury in front of her. She received a message of thanks afterwards from one of the marshals who said she’d shown incredible kindness and professionalism in a difficult situation.”

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