A two-day running festival staged by CITY Community Trust has been declared a huge success.
More than 450 runners braved the elements to take on the Exeter Half Marathons, which began at the Quay and followed a two-lap route along the River Exe and through Riverside Valley Park.
Organisers at CITY Community Trust, Exeter City Football Club’s partner charity, said they were delighted with the event, which sold out weeks in advance. The charity is now looking ahead to its next events which are the Granite Way race, a 10 or 20mile race across Dartmoor, on March 4 and the Exeter Marathon on May 20.
Jamie Vittles, head of CITY Community Trust, said: ‘The weekend was an enormous success, we have two half marathons, one for the more elite runners on the Saturday and a second open race on the Sunday. The events are really starting to make their mark on runners’ calendars, attracting lots of top class entrants from outside the area, as well as local people.
‘The weather conditions were changeable to say the least, I think we saw snow hail and rain over the weekend. Our team, led by Pete Ferlie, did an amazing job organising these events.’
Many participants raised funds for CITY Community Trust and the organisation’s charity partners, Children’s Hospice South West, Age UK Exeter and Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education.
Saturday’s race had an estimated completion time of sub 2 hrs 15 and was a fantastic opportunity for many club runners to test their winter training, while Sunday’s event provided an ideal opportunity for those first time runners to achieve their goal over a relatively flat, traffic-free course.
With a blistering time of 1 hour 12 minutes, Jamie Barnett was quickest on Saturday’s event, he was closely followed by runner up Adam Holland, from Tavistock running group, and Graham Bale, from Plymstock Road Runners.
With an astonishing time of 1 hour 19 minutes, Matt Dell, from Weston Athletic Running Club, finished quickest on Sunday, with Gavin Mackay and Ian Patchett following.
The women’s race saw Katie Synge win Saturday’s event followed by Alison McEwing and Alison Thorn both representing Erme Valley Harriers. With Sunday’s honours going to Ruby Orchard who finished fifth overall in 1hr 28 with Catherine Hodkins in second, closely followed by Jodie Koep.
? Feeling Inspired – Looking for a new challenge? CITY Community Trust hosts a variety of running events throughout the year, from weekly beginner running groups through to the full marathon distance.
? For more information or to challenge yourself at their next events, the Exeter Marathon or 10km visit www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk