Susan storms to age category success at Bristol Half Marathon
PUBLISHED: 14:10 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 26 September 2018
Weston Athletic Club member Susan Duncan won her age category at the Bristol Half Marathon and set the club's female second fastest time for the distance.
Unfortunately for the increasingly damp runners assembled at the start of Sunday’s Bristol half marathon, weather forecasters were right, and the rain was set to stay for the duration of their 13.1 miles around the city.
But once the starting pistol had fired and 48 of Weston Athletic Club’s members joined the 7,000 other runners taking part, thoughts of the weather turned to conquering the course, and working to achieve new best times.
Despite conserving energy for his marathon in two weeks’ time, Kieron Summers still executed a great performance and finished in 27th place overall in an excellent time of 1.15.02.
Rob Furlong and Matt Wheeler both achieved new best times for the distance, thanks in no small part to their hard work in training, with Rob finishing in 1.22.10 and Matt a minute later in 1.23.35.
Club performance of the day must surely belong to Susan Duncan, who crossed the line in 1.26.55, winning her age category and becoming the club’s second fastest female half marathon runner in the process.
Susan has knocked almost half-an-hour from her half marathon time over the past two years. Jo Coveney was the club’s next female finisher in 1.39.51 while Carol O’Leary followed in 1.44.19, second overall in her category and shaving 20 seconds off her previous best time.
Rain and a strong southerly wind set the scene for the first prom run in the new series of five-mile races. Although it put some off completely, 278 runners braved the elements to put their speed training to the test.
It was a lucrative night for the club with three finishers in the top five. Chris McMillan, although returning from injury, still managed to win the race with a convincing lead in 28.11.
Ben Haines finished third overall in 28.52, with Kieron Summers hot on his heels eight seconds later, winning his age category in the process.
No stranger to victory, Susan Duncan also won her age category with her 32.53 finish. Phillippa Stephens came second in hers in 35.43 and Michelle Fryer took third club position in 36.22. Pam Withers came first in her category with her 39.46 finish.
Special mention must also go to Shaleen Summers who has recently undertaken training to allow her to guide blind and partially-sighted runners, which she did at Thursday’s race, helping a runner from VI Runners Bristol to take part.
The club’s next race is the toughest in its calendar - the 12-mile off-road Mendip Muddle with 420 metres of climb along the pretty route. The race takes place on October 14 at 11am, starting from the Charterhouse Centre.
For more information and online entry visit www.westonac.co.uk/mendipmuddle