Thousands of runners braved the rain and wind to take part in the 2017 Waters® Wilmslow Half Marathon this morning (Sunday, 19th March).
Close to 4,000 runners, of all ages, set off from Kings Road at 10.30am to complete this ever popular half marathon, which in its 33rd year saw a World Record broken.
In one of the closest finishes for many years, just 4 seconds separated the first two runners, Mohammad Abu-Rezeq from Altrincham & District AC crossed the line first in a winning time of 66 minutes and 27 seconds. This was the second time Abu-Rezeq has taken the men's title having won the Waters® Wilmslow Half Marathon in 2014. He also came third last year.
Mohammad was followed by Matt Bond from Sale Harriers who completed the 13.1 mile course in 66 minutes and 31 seconds. Whilst third place went to Andrew Davies of Stockport Harriers with a time of 67 minutes and 31 seconds.
Nick Bishop said "Although he took the lead very early in the race, he had Matt Bond of Sale H& AC literally breathing down his neck with some 400 metres to go... Anyone's race! In the end Mo pulled away, winning by 4 seconds."
Winner Mohammad Aburezeq is £1250 better off for winning the race but the bonus of £500 for beating the course record, of 61 minutes and 52 seconds set by Isaac Macharia from Kenya back in 2004, was never threatened.
Having come third last year, Fanni Gyurko won the women's race and came 48th place overall, recording a time of 78 minutes and 11 seconds.
Alison Lavender was the second woman to finish in a time of 79 minutes and 30 seconds and Dionne Allen was third in 80 minutes and 31 seconds.
Meanwhile Shantelle Gaston-Hird, 29, ran the entire race backwards in a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 9 seconds to earn herself a World Record*, reducing the previous World Record by some 20 minutes, whilst raising money for the anti-bullying charity BulliesOut.
Shantelle said "The race was the most supported race I have ever ran. The marshals and locals were incredible. The event was very well ran and was really enjoyable. It was a lot hillier then what I expected and you 100% feel it more when you are in reverse.
"The wind was a bit of a tough cookie at point to deal with and the pot holes became a bit of a challenge towards the end with tired legs. Although I saw this race in reverse I would recommend this event to everyone."
Andy O'Sullivan MBE said "I have commentated at top road races for over 30 years, this was the most impressive run I have ever witnessed."
For the first time in many years pacers were used for a variety of time bands allowing both club and fun runners to work together to get the all so important 'personal Best'.
The first male home for Wilmslow Running Club was Peter Speake, finishing in 29th place in a time of 74 minutes and 59 seconds and Janine Ellis was the first female home for the Wilmslow Club and 28th in the ladies race with a time of 93 minutes and 6 seconds.
Richard Bullock took a video which was filmed at the first corner on the course - roughly 500m from the start.
If you have any good photos of today's race you would like to share email them to email@example.com.
The full results for the 2017 Wilmslow Half Marathon are available from TDL Event Services.
Photos courtesy of Harry Shakeshaft.
Shantelle at the start of her World Record attempt courtesy of Brian Smith.
Ist Lindow scouts high five-ing the runners at 2 miles, before getting back to their water station.
* In order to be awarded the Guinness World Record Shantelle has to to provide evidence, including video evidence of the race, witness statements from the race director plus another individual, a statement to verify the course length, photographic evidence before, during and after the event and an official race time. Once they have received the evidence for Shantelle's record attempt it can take up to 12 weeks for them to review the documentation before confirming her record attempt has been a success.
Tags: Waters Corporation, Wilmslow Half Marathon