A perfect debut for Eleanor Newton even if the new GCR wasn’t expecting it

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 November 2018

Garden City Runners pose at the start of the Stevenage Half Marathon.

Garden City Runners pose at the start of the Stevenage Half Marathon.


A personal best from Eleanor Newton helped Garden City Runners to the Herts County team silver medal at the Stevenage Half Marathon – a race she was never meant to take part in.

Garden City Runners show off their medals at the Stevenage Half Marathon.Garden City Runners show off their medals at the Stevenage Half Marathon.

It was Newton’s first appearance in GCR colours and her time of one hour 37 minutes 42 seconds set the pace for the club.

And she was backed up by Rebecca Barden (1:44:24) and Helen Paine (2:00:49), who finished the course in a highly-respectable time despite not feeling her best.

But Newton revealed afterwards that she originally wasn’t due to being taking part at all.

She said: “I only took up the place offered by Martha Hall on the afternoon before the race and was delighted with my new half PB on a course which was much hillier than it looked on the elevation plan.”

The race incorporated a two-lap route, one short and one long, which mixed underpasses and parts of the town’s cycle paths with scenic views through Fairlands Valley Park.

And with the weather just about perfect for running, the generous support of marshals and spectators alike made it an enjoyable day.

Aside from Newton, there were also new best times for Steve-Ellerd Elliott and Michael Paine who clocked 1:34:39 and 1:41:02 respectively.

And Russell Casey finished 14th overall in an excellent 1:23:55.

Elsewhere Richard Somerset and Nick Genever ran the Beachy Head Marathon at Eastbourne.

Somerset, who described the course as “extremely lumpy”, with over 1,000m of climbing, said: “By the time I got to 20 miles, and the start of the Seven Sisters, my legs were so sore I was forced to walk the steeper sections.

“Nevertheless I managed to finish in 4:03:18, for a top 200 position.”

Genever managed a time of 4:22:09.

There were also plenty of fine efforts at parkruns around the country.

Tom Wackett’s sixth place at Hackney Marshes came with a PB as did ladies captain Charlee Chapman at Aylesbury and men’s captain Sean Bowen in Southampton.

Paul Guy was a comfortable winner on his first outing at Westmill and Neil Hume took the win at Ellenbrook Fields where Jack Tann and Trevor Davies both managed PBs.

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