Newark Half-marathon runners battle the elements in stunning race
A rookie half-marathon runner was the first to cross the line in the Newark Half-marathon on Sunday.
Joe Wilkinson, 25, from Lincoln, beat last year’s winner John Hobbs by nearly seven minutes after he completed the race in 1 hr 7 minutes and 31 seconds.
It was Joe’s first half-marathon – his speciality is running 10km races – and he said he was encouraged by friends to push himself further.
He said: “I was hoping to get the win and in the under 70 minutes mark. It feels unreal to finish in this time.
“This is my first half marathon and I wanted to take the step up, people kept telling me I’d be a good marathon runner and I didn’t believe them, but I might have to now.
“I’ll definitely come back again next year, it’s a good course in the countryside.”
Coming in second place was 40-year-old Phil Wylie, from Exeter, who finished in 1-08-43 – also running his half marathon debut.
He said after the race: “The last part was tough because I was running on my own, but I wanted to finish in the top five.
“My events are the 10km and duathlon so this was my first half-marathon.
“I liked the route as well. It’s good to have one route to do rather than multiple laps, I really enjoyed it.”
In third place was William Strangeway, also of Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club in a time of 01-09-10.
The first female runner to cross the line was Samantha Harrison, 24, from Nottingham Athletics Club, who finished in 1-16-26.
She said she was thrilled to finish in this time in such tough conditions:
“To get a sub-75 minute finish feels great. It was very tough out there, it was so windy and wet.”
Joe and Samantha also took home the DB Wood Prize, which is awarded to the first male under 70 minutes, and the first female under 80 minutes. They received £500 each.
The first Newark athlete home was Tom Marshall of Newark Triathlon Club, who completed the half marathon in 1-17-56.
Tom said: “The weather was pretty windy, the stretch near Eden Hall was really demanding and it was hard going, but it was a great race.
“It feels brilliant to be the first local home and to bring it home for NTC.”