Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Taylor quick off the mark at Watlington 10km race

Taylor quick off the mark at Watlington 10km race

MORE than 80 people took part in a ninth edition of a winter race in countryside near Watlington on Sunday.

The Watlington 10K is organised by the Fat Fox Inn in the town and runs two races each year, one in June and one in December.

It sees competitors take on a section of the Ridgeway trail, steep inclines in the Chiltern Hills and a path through Beech Woods.

Runners registered at the pub in Shirburn Street at about 10am and then walked the 0.7 miles to the start line off Hill Road.

Many had travelled from surrounding towns and villages specially for the event, while many Watlington residents also took part.

They included Laura Elliston, who runs the LP PT Fit Hub in nearby Benson and took part with friends.

The runners were set off by landlord John Riddell, who has organised every race along with Gus Williams and Murray Bishop.

The first finisher was Jake Taylor, who crossed the line in 43 minutes and 26 seconds, more than two minutes ahead of second-placed Jonathan Herod who finished in 45 minutes and 30 seconds.

The first woman to finish was Michelle Pank whose time of 52 minutes and 30 seconds secured her 23rds spot overall.

Mr Riddell said: “Me and some friends used to run in local races but they all seemed less than hilly.

“We wanted to put in hills to give ourselves a local advantage, which didn’t work out as everyone was much fitter than us!

“The winter race is always much bigger than the summer race as there are less things in the running diary.

“They love it and we have people who have done it every year. We live in the Chilterns and forget how attractive it is but come from elsewhere and say what a beautiful part of the world it is.” Many runners returned to the pub for drinks afterwards, with Champagne prizes for the fastest man and woman.

Mr Riddell added: “We had about 60 back here, which was really nice. People come for the added social element. We also had quite a lot of marshals who have been doing it for nine years and we are very grateful.”

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