Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon Sunday 3rd April
Sunshine replaces April showers… Welcome to The Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon
Dark clouds had gathered in the days preceding the race but as so often happens for this ever popular event, the clouds lifted and the sun shone for the thousands of runners come race day. Resulting from the weather in the days prior to the race, car parking was limited and the race organisers are grateful as always to the co-operation and assistance provided by local residents.
Thousands of runners nervously made the way to the start line on Kings Road, all ages, colours and size. A mass of humanity and which makes the race so special. Bang on 10.30am, silence… only for the gunshot of the starter and a small trail of smoke as close to 4,000 runners set off. Within 600 metres as the leaders hit Altrincham Road, a group of three already had a twenty yard lead. The men’s course record stood at 61.52… could this be under threat? Seven minutes later, the last runner had crossed the start line… the leaders easing into mile two. As the country lanes welcomed the mass of runners, eventual winner Josphat Kipkemoi was in a strong lead. The main race looked like a race for second… and this did not change until the end.
Course records were safe… the men’s likely to remain for some time yet. Josphat finished first in a time of 64.59 and was cheered down the finish straight by the thousands in attendance. Second place was not so clear cut. With 300 metres remaining Barnaba Kipkoech and Mohammad Aburezeq (Altrincham AC), were battling for second place and sprinting neck and neck towards the finish line. It was Barnaba who had the legs finishing second in a 66.09, leaving Mohammad in third place in 66.18. Jack Morris of Stockport finished fourth in 67.20. The Ladies course record was broken in 2015, and early in the race, thoughts also turned to record times but similarly this was not to be. Teresiah Ormosa winning in 74.49 and 24th place overall. Damaris Areba finished 2nd in 76.45 and Fanni Gyurko 3rd in 76.18.
First Wilmslow runner home was Rob Downs finishing 29th in 75.23, with Janine Ellis first female Wilmslow runner in 1.31.08 and 20th female overall.
Times may be important at the front end but for many of the 3780 finishers it’s about making it to the finish and running for their own chosen charities, many of whom will have also have their personal reasons. The main charity this year was The Christie Charitable Fund. (www.christies.org/waterswilmslowhalfmarathon).
Race organisers are as ever extremely appreciative to the race sponsors. Waters Wilmslow, Running Bear and Running Imp. Similarly without the support of the running community, there would be no race. The organisers would like to thank all runners, supporters and volunteers who all help to make the day so special… The Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon.
– Nick Bishop