Organisers thrilled with sell-out race
FOR the fifth year in a row, runners taking on the gruelling North Devon AONB Marathon were blessed with wonderful weather for the popular event.
While the sunshine meant participants were treated to some stunning views on what is regarded as one of the most scenic races in the country, the accompanying heat highlighted that it is also one of the most challenging.
Starting and finishing in Woolacombe, the race takes on a figure-of-eight course including a mix of terrains and some daunting hills.
Ronnie Richmond of Bideford AAC was the first home, having conquered the steep inclines and completing the half-marathon route in a new course record time of 1hour 24minutes.
Peter Sutton of North Devon Road Runners was fastest in the full marathon in a time of 3hrs 14mins.
Of the female runners, Rose Terrible of North Devon AAC was first home in the half marathon in a new course record 1hr 38 mins, while the first female home in the full marathon was first-time marathon runner Mary Menon in 3:58.
As in previous years the North Devon Marathon, sponsored by Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks, sold out months in advance.
Race organiser, Simon Oliver, said it was a great pleasure to see months of hard work coming together.
“As a keen runner myself, I think this is a fantastic way to show off the beauty of our local area.” he said. “By making the course so challenging we’ve attracted people from far and wide, as well as some top local runners, and we’re really making a name for ourselves as a must-do event.”
The event is run in aid of North Devon Hospice and has become a significant fundraiser for the charity.
Emma Lowe, from the hospice’s fundraising team, said: “Congratulations to all the runners today, because they were just amazing. Despite the hills and the heat, they were upbeat throughout and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the occasion.
“Most importantly, they have all helped to raise a significant sum for North Devon Hospice. Last year’s event generated in excess of £40,000 and we hope that once all the sponsorship is in we can beat that record. It would make a massive difference to the local people we care for.”