Runners brave freezing conditions to run Wokingham Half MarathonBy Jon Nurse
February 13, 2013
A triathlete triumphed in his debut race as more than 2,000 runners braved the icy rain to take part in the Wokingham Half Marathon on Sunday.
Adam Bowden, of Harrow Athletics Club, claimed victory in the 13.1-mile course, crossing the finish line on the cold winter morning in one hour, five minutes and 53 seconds, just minutes off last year’s record-breaking time of one hour, three minutes and 14 seconds.
After winning the race, which started and finished at Cantley Park in Twyford Road, the 30-year-old told The Wokingham Times he plans to use the result to further his triathlon career.
He said: “This was my first ever half marathon so I’m over the moon with my time.
“This year is hopefully going to be a big step up for me.”
Mr Bowden has previously been ranked among the top five triathletes in the country and is based at a specialist performance centre in Loughborough.
He added: “I’ve been doing triathlons for five years. I’m enjoying that and it’s nice to come out here and do the Wokingham Half Marathon.
“The spectators were awesome, the marshalling was brilliant – it’s a shame about the weather but it’s England so what do you expect?”
All 3,000 places for the 28th annual race sold out and 2,183 runners crossed the finish line.
Emily Wicks, who runs for Aldershot, Farnham & District Athletics Club, improved on her third place finish in 2011, romping home almost four minutes ahead of the next fastest lady in one hour, 14 minutes and 16 seconds.
The 28-year-old, from Cobham in Surrey, is currently training for her first London Marathon in April and aims to complete the course in two hours and 40 minutes.
She said: “I was targeting a good time and I’ve taken a minute off my personal best so I’m pleased.
“It’s a good course and nice to see the country roads. The rain was okay, it was more the wind that was an issue towards the end.”
Many runners raised cash for charity, including Matthew George, of Barkham Road, who reached his sub two hours target by just 23 seconds and secured £581.96 for Cancer Research UK.
The 28-year-old said: “It’s been amazing. Everyone is so competitive out there, splashing in the puddles to get past you.”
Adrian Evans, member of the organising committee, said: “The course is extremely flat – a lot of people come here to set their personal bests.
“There’s a little bit of drizzle in the air today causing problems for marshals and the likes, but the runners are used to that so it’s fine.”