Sleaford Half-Marathon: Striders’ Oliver third in home race

In one of the final mass sporting events before the coronavirus effectively suspended all sport, more than 300 runners turned out for this year’s Sleaford Half-Marathon.

A field of 330-plus rolls away at the start of the Sleaford Half Marathon EMN-200323-153652002
A field of 330-plus rolls away at the start of the Sleaford Half Marathon EMN-200323-153652002

Sleaford Striders, who hosted the race, received criticism from some quarters for holding the event as the situation escalated day by day, but defended their decision.

“This year has been a particularly difficult time for any sporting event with races cancelled early in the year as a consequence of the weather, and now with the onset of coronavirus,” said a Striders spokesman.

“Serious consideration had to be given with regard to the half-marathon taking place.

Half marathon runners faced less than spring-like conditions EMN-200323-153620002

“Decisions were not taken lightly and always with the safety of those taking part and members of the public in mind.

“Sleaford Striders reviewed the condition on a daily basis and noted there had been no Government advice to cancel an event of the size being held in Sleaford.

“In fact it was noted that being in the open air was safer than being in a pub or club.

“Extra precautions were taken, with hand sanitisers being made available and gloves being worn by any volunteer or official in personal contact with runners or members of the public.”

Sleaford Half-Marathon winner Matthew Nutt EMN-200323-153631002

A total 335 runners finished the 13.1-mile race taking in Kirkby La Thorpe, Evedon and Ewerby.

Matthew Nutt (Holme Pierrepont Running Club) was first home in a time of 1hr 12min 05secs who finished more than a minute clear of runner-up Wayne Lathwell (Lincoln Wellington), while Sleaford Strider Alan Oliver was third overall in 1.15.39.

Emma Hodson, of Cambridge University Hare and Hounds Club, was first lady in 1.18.31.

In addition to the main event a well-supported 3k fun run took place, and Lincolnshire Co-op provided the water for runners in both events.

Sleaford Strider David Oliver comes home third EMN-200323-153558002

“Support in all areas was magnificent despite the rain that came down from start to finish,” the spokesman added.

“Putting on an event of this nature takes a lot of organising, with many members giving up their time to marshal, register and generally set up and take down the signs, start and finish.”

Emma Hodson (Cambridge University) was first lady at the half marathon EMN-200323-153609002
Sleaford Half Marathon entrants, from left, Tara Moir, Sanjay Smith, Rob Wing, Harry Whittaker and Hazel Whittaker, of Holdingham Grange. EMN-200323-153703002
Sleaford Fun Run winner EMN-200323-153642002