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Huge Turn Out For Mercer Surrey Half Marathon

Published on: 14 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 14 Mar, 2017

Sunday’s Mercer Surrey Half Marathon was another successful event with competitors running through Jacobs Well and parts of Worplesdon from its start and finish in Woking.

Ready for the off at the 2017 Mercer Surrey Half Marathon.

More than 4,800 runners had registered online to complete the run, along with 550 young people for the Kids’ 2k race, and a further 550 for the first race of the day, the inaugural 5k.

Mick Barlow from the British Association of Road Races (BARR) attended the event and extended his congratulations to the organisers as he awarded the event with BARR’s Gold Standard Race Grade for “its exceptionally high standard of race organisation and commitment to runners”.

The poor weather did not deter Guildford’s Fitstuff Run Club sporting their dazzling yellow Fitstuff T-shirts.

Runners and spectators alike enjoyed a buzzing event village at Woking Leisure Centre with face painting, plenty of toilets, free indoor bag storage, sports massage, a live band and a number of food and drink vendors.

A 13sqm LED screen broadcasted interviews of excited Guildford and Godalming Athletics Club runners lining up to race, and captured those special finish line moments on the return.

Out on the course were five water stations manned by a small army of volunteers and local cadets.

Hundreds of residents took to the streets at various “cheer stations” to applaud runners and provide high fives and jelly babies!

Andrius Jaksevicius, running for Belgrave Harriers, came first, finishing in a time of one hour nine minutes and 49 seconds. Just under a minute later Stephen Blake crossed the finish line to claim second place.

He said: “It’s a brilliant event, I’ve done it the last three years now and it’s getting bigger and better every year.”

Helena Eastham, the first woman across the line in one hour 22 minutes and 26 seconds, said: “I’m very happy with my time This is the best half marathon I’ve done, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Among those taking part was Tony “The Fridge” Morrison, who returned for his second installment of “one of his favourite races”.

This year he made the road-trip down from Newcastle with his film crew best friend Paul, who completed the half marathon barefoot.

Tony achieved a world record time and his personal best half marathon time all the while carrying a 42kg (93lb) fridge on his back.

Like many of this year’s runners, Tony chose to raise money by participating in the event, and dedicated his achievement to a close family member who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Race director Toby Jenkins extended “many congratulations” to all those who broke personal records and is rewarding all those who improved upon a previous Surrey Half Marathon finish time with the opportunity to win a free place at the next year’s event, on March 11, 2018.

A number of Guildford-based businesses offered deals for runners and their families to enjoy after the event. Fitstuff had a stall in the event village selling premium running gear for generous prices.

The Jolly Farmer pub in Burdenshott Road supported the event by serving hot drinks and a breakfast barbecue from 8am, and a number of other restaurants gave away free or discounted meals.

Thanks are also extended to all partners of the race, including headline partner and winners of the Corporate Challenge: Mercer, Title Charity Partners Macmillan and Harrison’s Fund, and Synergy Physiotherapy, Woking Leisure Centre, Celebrate Woking, Woking Borough Council, Morrison’s Solicitors, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Woking Sam Beare Hospices and Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Local residents are thanked for their patience in working their Sunday morning travel around the road closures, and being so accommodating of the event.

Click here for more details at Mercer Surrey Half Marathon’s website.

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