Joy and delight for Garden City Runners on the London streets at the Big Half

PUBLISHED: 07:21 12 March 2019

Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.

Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.

Archant

Garden City Runners were off to capital with a good squad taking on the London Marathon’s baby brother – the Vitality Big Half.

Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.

In total 14 from the club took to the start line at Tower Bridge, with another big group helping out with the logistics behind the scenes, handing out the carefully preserved personal belongings to grateful finishers after they crossed the finishing line in Greenwich.

Of those running Becca Hayden took the top honours, not only coming in as the first lady GCR but also with a new PB of one hour 31 minutes 22 seconds.

She said: “It turned out to be a lovely dry day once the race started, although the winds were especially bad over Tower Bridge.

“The atmosphere was amazing and the volunteers and supporters made a fantastic race even better.

Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.Garden City Runners both ran and helped with the baggage collection at the Vitality Big Half.

“Special thanks to the amazing GCR volunteers at bag truck nine who I saw when I finished and were so supportive when I arrived.

“You’re all amazing to give up a Sunday to help out. Thank you.”

Others were simply happy with their own runs, even if they didn’t make a mark in the record books.

Jane Molloy, who finished in 2:45:36, said: “Although I brought up the rear for GCR, I wasn’t disappointed with my time.

“After being under the weather for the last three weeks, then battling the weather, I was just pleased to finish.”

Ali Christie came in behind her in what was her first event over 13.1 miles.

She said: “I completed my first half marathon and I just wanted to say thank you to the lovely ladies that came to congratulate me after I had finished.

“It really means a lot to a novice like me that more experienced runners are genuinely pleased with other people’s results.”

Tom Wackett was the first GCR to finish with a time of 1:22:09 good enough for 477th overall.

Chris Jones was slightly further south at the Surrey Half Marathon but he was another who bagged a PB for the distance, clocking

1:19:02 at the event in Woking.

Personal bests also fell in a number of parkruns.

Helen Stafford and Clair Emms both improved their marks at Panshanger while Michael Tandy went quicker than ever before in Southampton.

Steve Grout’s finish at Bexley means he has now completed the set of all 53 London parkruns.

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