THE Milton Keynes Festival of Running again attracted a great response on a very cold wet morning, which became progressively worse and made conditions truly awful for the last of the 2,700 competitors finishing the half marathon.
The conditions for the 460 runners in the 10Km race were the best of Sunday, but still far from ideal as winner Phil Holland of the Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers crossed the finish line in a time of 33m 02s.
He finished well clear of 2nd placed Luke Montgomery of Corby AC who just pipped 3rd Richard Powell (1st M40) to the line as the pair recorded the same time of 34m 04s, amazingly pushing David Lipscomb out of the medals as he too finished in 34m 04s.
The first female back in 16th spot was Jo Pulsford (Rugby & Northampton AC) taking 38m 23s, with 23rd Riina Kuuselo 40m 23s and 36th Daisy Melville (1st F35) 41m 52s.
The half marathon was not quite as close though with 1st place going to Martin Shore of Thames Hare & Hounds with a good time in blustery condition of 1h 12m 32s ahead of Marcin Fudalej (Marshall Milton Keynes AC) 1h 13m 08s and Jonathan Poole 1h 14m 01s.
The women’s race was won by veteran Louise Peters (F35) of Stopsley Striders in 1h 20m 25s with another veteran in 2nd as Liz Such (F35) of the Hallamshire Harriers came home in 1h 22m 02s and in 3rd was Louise Gibson 1h 22m 47s.
While not quite as swift as the leaders, the organisers very much hope that James Harris – who had the privilege of finishing 2737th in 3h 17m 28s – enjoyed the run as much as everyone else.
The next Milton Keynes runner home in 8th place also took the top veteran spot as Stephen Herring (M40) finished in a time of 1h 15m 47s while next back was 16th George Ashdown 1h 17m 36s, followed by 24th Daniel Webber 1h 19m 01s, 28th Ian Van Lokven (2nd M50) 1h 19m 23s and 29th Matthew Clarke in the same time, plus 35th Mark Dowson 1h 20m 18s and 43rd Ross Mackenzie 1h 21m 12s to complete the top 50 for the home club.
In the 10K race it was 8th placed Stephen Green who was first back for Milton Keynes, taking 35m 17s while 35th was Michael Kelly (2nd M50) 35m 41s, 121st Jane Goodey (1st F55) 52m 27s, 185th Kate Dugher 57m 05s and 210th Paul Martin (M40) 58m 47s.
>> Amazingly the weekend witnessed the first outdoor meeting of the year at the Loughborough Winter Throws Meeting and there was a fantastic start to the season for Mervyn Luckwell.
The London 2012 hopeful produced a huge winning throw of 79.70m in the javelin, while fellow Milton Keynes member Freddie Curtis (M20) was a respectable 9th with his 57.54m effort.