Weston’s women at their best at Bideford half marathon

PUBLISHED: 15:44 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:44 14 March 2018

Chris McMillan.

Chris McMillan.


Three Weston Athletic Club female runners broke their personal best records at the Bideford half marathon.

Last weekend seven of Weston Athletic Club’s runners headed to Devon for the Bideford half marathon.

The race is moderately flat with one small hill section and takes in countryside alongside the River Torridge between Bideford and Great Torrington.

It was worth the journey for the club’s three female runners who ran, as all three raced their way to new personal bests. Jo Coveney finished in 1.38.26, Chantelle Thompson in 1.48.24 and Shaleen Summers in 1.59.26, finally achieving her hard-earned goal of a sub two hour half.

Richard Brent was the club’s fastest male, crossing the line in 1.25.43. Paul Hudson followed in 1.35.52 and Jim Hayward in 1.44.50. Paul also knocked eight minutes of his previous fastest half marathon time.

Ten runners raced at Burnham at the latest race in the 5k series, re-arranged following the snow. Conditions were kind with very little wind and no rain, and five of the club’s women achieved new personal best times.

Susan Duncan, Nia Davies and Michelle Fryer all finished within a minute of each other in 19.51, 20.37 and 20.45. Susan took second place overall for the women. Jo Coveney and Sheryl Selway also achieved best times.

Joe Withers was fastest male in 19.36, and at only 17, he has a great running future ahead of him. Marc Whiting was the club’s second male in 21.07 and John Hinchliffe finished in 25.18.

The weekend also saw five members take on the Berkeley 20-mile road race in Gloucestershire. The event is a great test of race pace and endurance during marathon training.

Ian Connock finished in a fast time of 2.07.35 and sixth overall. He was followed by Josh Harris in 2.23.17 and Stuart Diamond exactly a minute later. Helen Diamond was the club’s only female runner and she finished comfortably under three hours in 2.57.36.

On the back of his recent sterling race performances, Chris McMillan was selected to represent the county at last weekend’s UK Counties Athletic Union inter-counties cross-country championship.

The race was held in Loughborough on an extremely muddy course. Despite battling a chest infection, Chris still managed to help Avon and Somerset to 10th place out of 31 county teams and, individually, finished 114th out of 284 runners.

The next race organised by the club is the sixth prom run of the season on March 22. The main five-mile race starts on the seafront near the Tropicana at 7.30pm and is preceded by the one-mile junior race at 6.45pm.

Runners can enter on the night or online at www.westonac.co.uk/promrun

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