Hundreds turn out for Falmouth half-marathon
7:00am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Sport
A grand total of 431 runners lined up on the start line for the second annual Run Falmouth charity half-marathon, and the sun, not to mention a big crowd, came out to give them a rousing send-off.
Organised to help raise money for Cornwall Hospice Care, the race is now in its second year and has firmly established itself as a Grand Prix event, as well as building quite the reputation for being one of the toughest courses on the circuit.
Runners from clubs across Cornwall took part, with both team and individual titles up for grabs.
Beginning on the Moor in the town centre, the race route took runners along the main street and out around Pendennis Castle, before looping back along the seafront towards Swanpool and down to Maenporth, with its notorious, energy-sapping hills.
First home for the men was Michael Birchmore of Newquay Road Runners in an impressive time of 1hr 18mins 6 secs - beating the previous course record by two minutes.
Birchmore was followed soon after by Richard Pascoe of Mile High Running Club in 1.18.58.
St Austell Running Club’s Jez Mancer came home third in 1.20.33, winning the male veterans’ U40 category.
The first female athlete home was Zelah Morral of Cornwall AC with a time of 1.28.38 placing her 28th overall. Second place was Elanor Davis coming in almost 3 minutes later, followed by Mile High’s Beth Popperwell in third.
Richard Dalton was the first Falmouth Road Runner over the line, finishing seventh in a time of 1.22.13.
“I’m really pleased with that,” said a tired but happy Dalton after the race, “It’s a monster of a course, a real monster, so I’m really pleased. I felt good all the way, keeping calm and and keeping my composure, which is important because you’re racing everyone so you’ve got to keep your head in the game.
“My best time is 1.21 which I did in Truro a couple of years ago, but this is a much harder course. I think everyone’s really pleased with how they’ve performed.”
Dalton’s result capped an excellent morning’s work for the Road Runners, who had representatives in every age category, and eventually finished third overall in the team comeptition.
Event organiser Rose Wiltshire from Cornwall Hospice Care paid tribute to runners and spectators alike, whose combined efforts helped raise in excess of £10,000 for the charity.
“Everything went really well,” she said, “and we had a great turnout.“We think there were an extra thousand people in the town centre and we’ve had great feedback from the runners about the course .
“I’d just like to thank the Falmouth Road Runners for helping with the organisation, Wetherspoons for letting us use the pub, and the Falmouth BID for helping set the event up.”
BID manager Richard Wilcox said: “I’d like to say thanks all the volunteers who helped out and gave up their time. I’d also like to thank St John’s Ambulance for their support, along with the council, and town manager Richard Gates. Also Gwyn Richards and Reach Maintenance for their help setting up the stage. These events can only happen because of these kinds of parnterships.”