Twice the winner of previous Salisbury half marathons, the City running club’s Aaron Wilson was unable to make it a hat-trick at Sunday’s fixture when found himself unable to close a gap of more than three minutes opened up by visiting athlete Peter Baksh of Beckenham RC.
On a blustery day not made for speed, Wilson was one of the main contenders as the two lap race exited Fisherton Street, heading into open country and the first of several heavy showers.
While Baksh and Woking AC’s Stephen Blake fought out the top honours, eventually crossing the finish line by the cathedral in 1hour 9min 57sec and 1.10.04 respectively, Salisbury’s lead runner on the day gamely held on to third spot with 1.13.18.
The U20’s Benedict Saunby did well to also make the top ten, clocking 1.18.27.
The women’s race became a real tussle between the Salisbury club’s Sian Thomas and Avon Valley’s Holly Rush in the closing miles. The lead changed hands within sight of the cathedral spire, giving Rush a winning time of 1.23.41 to Thomas’s equally good run of 1.23.59.
Behind them came Lee Syrett in 1.25.41 and Matt Bosworth 1.25.53.
Two of the City of Salisbury’s top runners, Stuart Holloway and Ruth Thom were married just the day before the race but were undeterred from still completing the course together. They finished next in a shared 1.28.01 to the warm applause of clubmates and spectators alike. Ruth placed fifth in the women’s race and took second in her category.
Rithy Hy was timed at 1.33.30, then came Angus Paton 1.34.02, Jason Bennett 1.36.28, Marc Hankins 1.36.46 and James Ballard 1.37.06.
For the club’s women, Anna Patrickson then clocked 1.38.18, Yvette Emerson 1.44.44, Kara Rogers 1.48.51, Kate Mortimer 1.49.26, Polly Jacobs 1.51.23, Jane Whiteley 1.55.55, Mel Murphy 1.55.56, Hannah Keech 1.58.43 and Ali Holloway 2.01.09.
There were 850 finishers in all, among which 42 were from the City of Salisbury club: full results on the race website www.salisburyhalf.com
In another half marathon at Windsor, Nick Hudson finished in a quick 1.33.26.
At the Ageas Bowl 10k, Michael Beckett was 20 seconds clear of his nearest challenger and took an excellent win on the boundary in 35min 23sec while Amanda Ansell recorded 65.31.
In the tough Jurassic 50k trail race on the Dorset coastal path, James Mills claimed a notable third place overall and top in his age group when he finished in 4hrs 46min.
At the same distance, Mike White finished in 6.20 and completing his first Trail Marathon Steve Robinson recorded 5.07.
Entries for the 25th edition of the Salisbury 10mile road race on 29th March 2020 open this week and are confidently expected to sell out in record time.
By John Ruskin