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Matt defies heat to secure new personal best at Compton Verney Half Marathon

FOURTEEN Stratford AC runners took on the Compton Verney Half Marathon on Sunday.

Previously known as the Edgehill Half Marathon, race organisers Tempo Events decided to rename this race after the beautiful start and finish venue, plus the course did not actually go up Edgehill.

The race sets off from the front of the house and winds through the villages of Kineton, Little Kineton and Radway, before returning up Pittern Hill at 11.5 miles and back to finish by the lake, on the lawns of Compton Verney.

For the past two years this event has been blessed with beautiful weather, as it was yet again this year.

The first of the Stratford athletes to finish, in sixth place and a personal best time of 1.27.55, was Matt Burdus-Cook.

“I’m very happy with a PB in the heat,” he said. “I expect I overdid the prep and planning, but it probably paid me back given the conditions.”

Just nine seconds separated the next two Stratford runners to finish, in 12th and 13th place.

The first of these was Dan Lynch (1.31.16) closely followed by Ivan Sarti (1.31.25). Ivan was also second in the M45 category.

Andy Cox (32nd, 1:43:41) was followed by the first Stratford woman to finish, Lynne Hinson (1.44.07).

Hinson was the third woman to finish overall and second in the W45 age group. Pete Sugden (45th, 1.48.47) was the sixth of the Stratford runners to finish in the top 50.

Gavin Lambert (85th, 2.01.35) and Jan McLure (97th, 2.04.49) were followed by a couple of runners separated by eight seconds, with Chris Whateley (104th, 2.06.35) just edging out Tara Lambert (106th, 2.06.43). Whateley was first in the M65 age category.

Dave Maundrell (130th, 2.17.07) seems to be running races every week at the moment and he was just 21 seconds ahead of the greatly improved Nic Reynolds (133rd, 2.17.28).

The final two runners, who have been racing for longer than either of them would care to remember, were Allan Coldicott (145th, 2.24.27) and John Butler (180th, 2.58.07). Butler was also third in the M65 age category.

The race was won by Julian Ayres in 1.21.29 and the first woman to finish, in 19th place overall, with a time of 1.37.30, was Katy Young.

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