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Running With The Wind - Lydd Half Marathon

Wild weather added to the challenges faced by competitors in this year’s Brett Lydd Half Marathon and 20-Mile Race.

Wild weather added to the challenges faced by competitors in this year’s Brett Lydd Half Marathon and 20-Mile Race as strong winds swept across Romney Marsh in Kent. Despite the difficult conditions, around 1,000 runners took part in the two events and some impressive times were achieved.

Event organisers, Nice Work, were delighted with how the day went. “It was a brilliant day,” says Martin Burke, Partner. “The community support was amazing, especially given the atrocious weather and everyone pulled together to overcome the difficulties it caused. 90-mile-an-hour gusts brought down no less than seven trees on the course after the race began, but a local farmer came to the rescue with his chainsaw and we managed to keep everyone safe and running.

“Feedback from competitors has been very positive, with lots of praise for the tenacity of the marshals and for the young people who manned the water stations.”  Local brownies, guides and scouts stoically fought the high winds to keep runners hydrated and chase after discarded plastic cups that the wind whipped away.

The men’s half marathon was won by Nick Collins of Ashford AC with a time of 01:19:37, with Daniel Voller of Folkestone RC coming in second in 01:20:53, followed closely by Ian McGilloway, also of Folkestone RC, who finished third in 01:20:57.  First home for the ladies was Hazel Behagg of Dartford Road Runners in 01:25:24, with Natalie McCreath of Eastbourne Rovers AC in second place (01:35:27) and Amy Old of Invicta East Kent AC in third (01:37:03).

The winner of the 20-mile race was Ben Shearer of Cambridge Harriers with a time of 01:51:49, with Thomas Stevens of Cambridge and Coleridge AC second in 01:55:30, and Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC third in 02:00:40.  Emily Proto of Arena 80 AC triumphed in the ladies’ category with a time of 02:17:42, over six minutes clear of her nearest rival, Susan McDonald of South London Harriers who came in second in 02:24:19, followed by Jemma Whyman of Medway and Maidstone AC who was third in 02:28:22.

The event again attracted many athletes in training for the numerous marathons that feature in the Spring calendar, among them two Brett employees who ran the 20-mile race as part of their training programme for the London Marathon which takes place on Sunday 28th April. Neil Frost, Area Operational Manager for Brett Landscaping and Building Products and his fiancée, Karen Davey, Head Office Management Accountant at Brett Group, completed the race together, both coming in within three minutes of their target time of three hours despite the adverse conditions.

“During the race, we were climbing over and scrambling under fallen trees but there were a lot of tough runners out there and we all just got on with it,” says Karen. “Neil and I have both run marathons in the past, but we are taking part in the London Marathon for the first time this year to raise money for the charity, Action Medical Research.  We hope conditions will be better for that as it was extremely windy, especially over the flat, exposed Romney Marsh area around Lydd.”

Race profits are donated to the Mayor of Lydd’s Charity Fund.

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