Allen’s record-breaking run caps a memorable Warwick Half Marathon

Spa Striders’ Ian Allen set a new course record to win The Wigley Group Warwick Half Marathon on Sunday.

Ian Allen was in record-breaking form

World and European 800m medallist Jenny Meadows started the race, organised by Warwick Racecourse, with close to 1,500 finishers able to enjoy a complimentary half pint of Hooky Ale at the finishing line.

Allen led from the outset, coming home in a super-quick 69min 41sec despite a bitingly cold wind.

It was another club record for the in-form Allen, giving him plenty of time to get his half pint in as nearest-challenger Richard Shephard was a further three minutes back.

Simon Perkin enjoys his half-pint of Hooky Ale

Allen was joined in the top ten by two fellow Striders, with Neil Smith fifth in 73:20 and Chris Liddle eighth in 75:02.

Also dipping below 1:30 for the club were Chris McKeown (1:18:38), Adam Notley (1:18:45), Simon Ludford (1:19:52), Keith Wilson (1:23:19), John-Paul Hunt (1:27:15), Tim Beresford (1:27:24), Luke Bennett (1:28:18), Chris Wilson (1:29:51) and Lloyd Harriman (1:29:57).

Included among the Leamington C&AC’ contingent were four who were using the event as part of their London Marathon build-up.

Dean Mawby was the first of the quartet home in 82:10 for 37th overall and first under-23.

Emma Garnett, Rachel Miller and Laura Pettifer show off their medals

Paul Okey followed in 72nd place with 87:03.

Last year’s ladies’ winner Natalie Bhangal had been struggling with a chest infection in the build-up but was still pleased with 90:13 for ninth lady and 120th overall.

Running his first half marathon for seven years, Jit Sispal was 426th in 1:44.24.

The first Leamington C&AC member home, in 11th place, was Paul Andrew in 77:19.

Kelsey Wiberley and Natalie Bhangal after the race

First-time half-marathoner Ray Charlton was delighted with his 84:31 for 56th.

Another sub-90 time of 89:14 gave Marc Curtis 103rd place and 2nd MV50.

For Kenilworth Runners, Tom Somerville was first home for the club, claiming 30th place in 80:44.

Ryan Baker clocked 84:01 for 53rd place and was followed by clubmate David Lowe who was 63rd in 85:54.

Some of the Kenilworth Runners contingent

Joe Chick (87:05), Alex Bolland (88:08), Anthony Morgan (88:35) and Paul Royle (89:50) all came in below the 90-minute mark.

Kelsey Wiberley was the first Strider lady home and sixth overall in 1:29:07, followed by Mairi Walker in 14th (1:33:00) and Alice Bourne in 16th (1:33:17).

Kenilworth Runners’ Rachel Miller put in a strong performance to finish fifth lady in 1:29:00, with Emma Garnett (10th in 1:31:05) and Laura Pettifer (12th in 1:32:06) also placing highly.

The first female over the line was Joanne McCandless in 1:22:17.

The presentation group was led by Barrie Wells MBE from race’s nominated charity, the Barrie Wells Trust Box4Kids initiative and Andre Klein, general manager at Warwick Racecourse, said the charity was sure to benefit from a bumper turnout.

“We had a record entry of 1,800 which was a big increase compared to last year and there was also a record set by Ian Allen so it was a memorable day,” said Klein.

“It was windy on Sunday but it was great to see a blue sky which made a difference to everyone’s mindset.

“We had put up signage on certain parts of the course to warn runners that due to the heavy rainfall conditions could be tricky underfoot but by race day, it was largely dry throughout the route.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part for boosting the funds of such a great charity as well as the Warwick Rotary Club and the Lions Club for their involvement in the planning process as well as running the event on the day.”