This Milltown Races Oldham Half Marathon was an event to remember after Altrincham AC runner breaks the half marathon record by some distance.
The half marathon took place on October 27.
Mohammed Abu-Rezeq from Altrincham AC and Kirsty Sharp from Glossopdale Harriers were crowned male and female winners of the 13.1 mile race, which is renowned for being one of the most gruelling half marathons in the UK.
Mohammed finished in 1:08:29.9, smashing the course record previously held by Andi Jones, which was 1:09:52.2. Kirsty finished in 1:29:45.1
Second places went to Gavin Hill of Sale Harriers, who finished in 1:12:32.1 and Martha Tibbot of Saddleworth Runners, who came in at 1:31:13.7. Third places went to Ian McBride of Royton Road Runners, with a time of 1:15:37.8, and Gaynor Keane of Saddleworth Runners, with a time of 1:32:27.5.
A crowd of more than 200 spectators were in attendance to cheer the racegoers on in Oldham Town Centre and around the route, creating a fantastic atmosphere.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, completed the half for homeless charity, Real Change. Burnham has ambitious plans to tackle homelessness in Greater Manchester and the ground-breaking ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme is committed to providing a bed, a warm welcome and personal support for every single person forced to sleep on the streets – more than 400 beds are now available across all 10 boroughs of the city-region.
He says: “The Milltown to Moors Oldham Half Marathon was without doubt a challenging race, but the support on the streets was fantastic and it was a great day to be a part of – I also enjoyed running alongside my friend and colleague Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council. The Half is a real community event, where everyone turns out to support the runners, especially on the incredibly difficult ascents when I certainly needed it most!
“I ran in support of Real Change as I believe homelessness and rough sleeping is a humanitarian crisis and in 2019, no-one should need to spend a night on the street – here in Greater Manchester we’re working hard to make sure no-one has to.”
Sean Fielding, Leader of the Council and Labour Councillor for Failsworth West, says: “I’ve run a few 10k runs around the region and I’ve had a personal ambition to run longer distances for some time. The Oldham Half Marathon seemed like the best opportunity to do that – even though I knew the hills make it really tough. Everybody told me what a stunning route it was – it wasn’t until I got up to Grains Bar that I appreciated what they meant.
“It’s a tough run though and there were a dozen points at which it would’ve been easy to drop out. Three things kept me going: the incredible support of local people lining the route, the great cause, Real Change Oldham, which Andy and I were raising money for, and that I was just ahead of a guy in a Rochdale vest most of the way round – I was determined not to let pass me!”
The event, which took place on Sunday 27th October, was organised by Oldham Community Leisure (OCL). In total there were 341 finishers who made it round the difficult course, which includes a 1,100ft ascent.
Race Director Patrick Wolstenholme says: “There’s nothing to beat Oldham’s infamous Half Marathon. It’s one of the race calendar’s best loved events, thanks to both it’s extremely challenging course and also to the amazing atmosphere local spectators turn out to provide without fail, every single year. I’d like to thank every local business which has offered its support as well as our army of volunteer marshals and not forgetting all the local people who took to the streets to cheer on the runners.”
Full race times can be found at: https://my2.raceresult.com/140827/results?lang=en#0_3EF1B7