Asics Wilmslow Half Marathon | Knutsford Times

Asics Wilmslow Half Marathon

By on March 30, 2009

The Asics Wilmslow half marathon had been chosen to stage the English Half Marathon Championships and was also a trial for elite English athletes trying to gain entry for the World Half Marathon Championships.  As a major championship race, the entry list was packed with talent, with the top runners chasing national titles.

The starter’s gun sounded at 10.30, and the sheer number of runners meant that it took seven minutes for the last runners to clear the start line. By then the leaders were well into the second mile of the race.

First place and taking the title of English half marathon champion was Mark Miles of Belgrave Harriers in a time of 64.11. Three previous winners of the race and all local athletes took a number of the top positions. In second place was Andi Jones of Salford in 64.22, with club mate Thomas Abyyui in third place in 64.38.

Last years winner Gareth Raven of Sale finished 5th in 66.12.
The quality of the entry list meant that the first 26 runners all ran under 70 minutes. In the Ladies championship, Michelle Ross-Cope of City of Stoke took the championship title in 72.35. Michelle also set a new course record adding to the prize money she received for becoming ladies champion. .

Kim Fawke of Telford finished runner up in 75.50 with Pauline Powell of Blackburn taking third spot in 77.58.
First Wilmslow runner home was Rob Downs in 71.29 and 37th place.
Rob was also the winner of his V45 age category.

First lady home for Wilmslow was Vicky McKinnon.  Following Vicky were club team mates Sally Gilliver and Kate Sutton. Together they became “3rd ladies team “in the 2009 English Half Marathon championships. Runners had their times sent via SMS thanks to the chip timing technologyThe Wilmslow men’s team finished fifth in the English Half Marathon Championships, a still remarkable placing in a National Championship.

Just under 4,000 completed the course and in doing so, well in excess of £50,000 was raised for local charities. The number finishing was 13% more than any previous year, with 3,450 in 2007 being the previous record number finishing. Chip timing was used for the first time. This allowed complete accuracy of timing with runners also receiving their own personal results via text messaging within minutes of finishing.

While for some it was the chance to win a national title, for thousands it was the chance to raise money for their own chosen charity but also to be winners in their own rights ……they had all pushed their bodies to the limits in finishing the 13.1 miles and the Asics Wilmslow Half Marathon.


Short Video footage

Race Facts:

  • A committee of approx 10 organise the event. However on the day we have over 200 volunteers. Approx 100 marshals to cover the course, 50 Cubs and Scouts manning the 3 drinks stations. Other volunteers assist with parking, catering, manning the finish, giving out goody bags 
  • The date is usually set around 12 months in advance and certain tasks like booking results providers, advertising the date etc have to be done throughout the summer, but the planning really begins in earnest around September


Famous Faces past and present

  • Jimmy Saville,
  • Amir Khan (2006 and 2007)
  • Dennis Tueart (1991)
  • Coronation St and Emmerdale Tupela Dorgu and Vicky Binns
  • Paul Crone

Click here to view photographs taken on the day by Jonathan Farber / Knutsford Times. Please feel free to download the gently watermarked version directly from the gallery.

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