MORE than 400 runners took part in the first North Devon AONB Marathon and Half Marathon, raising funds for North Devon Hospice. The runs started and ended at the green in Woolacombe and was sponsored by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The Red

THE marathon gets under way at Woolacombe

MORE than 400 runners took part in the first North Devon AONB Marathon and Half Marathon, raising funds for North Devon Hospice.

The runs started and ended at the green in Woolacombe and was

sponsored by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The Red Barn.

Race organiser Simon Oliver and looked after runners with plenty of water and wet sponges at regular intervals as temperatures soared close to 30 degrees.

Runners from local running clubs, from across the country and some from as far afield as Australia took part.

One woman was running to join the elite 100 marathon club and as she completed it was presented with a bone china tea cup and saucer from Miles Tea and Coffee, who donated all the hot drinks on the day. Other members of the 100 club presented her with champagne.

All runners were treated to a cream tea to replenish their energy levels, with support from West Down Dairies, and many made their way down to the beach for a well deserved swim and cool down!

First home in the marathon and winner of the over-45s category was local runner Peter Hockin of Bideford Blues in 3hrs 34mins 54 secs. He was followed by Nick Bailey and Bob Brown of East Cornwall Harriers.

Vicky Skelton of North Devon Road Runners was first lady, first woman over 40 and finished sixth overall in 3hrs 50mins 46secs. Second woman was Nicola Golunska of City of Portsmouth and third was Margaret McLachlan.

The half-marathon was won by Tom Kenderdine of Halesowen ACC in 1hr 25mins 33 secs, with Tim Reed second and Kevin Reed third.

First woman was Valeria Sesto of Lymington Tri Club in 1hr 42mins 10secs with Emma Dennis of North Devon AONB second and Alicia Leal of North Devon Road Runners in third.

North Devon Road Runners won the mixed team event in both the marathon and half-marathon races.