Cheshire Oaks Chester Half Marathon a success

Over 4,000 runners and an army of spectators took to the streets of Chester and South Wirral on Sunday 13 May for the Cheshire Oaks Chester Half Marathon.

The event, now in its 31st year, has been hailed as a ‘fantastic success story’ for the city and the organisers say the brand new course with its Town Hall Square finish has been given a big thumbs up from the competitors.

Rob Baker of Hallamshire Harriers was this year’s winner with a time of 1:09:25 followed by Tarus Elly of Salford Harriers (1:09:55) and Tim Pattison of Macclesfield Harriers (1:10:17).

The first woman to cross the line was Emma Parry of Wrexham AC who finished in a time of 1:20:44 followed by Jennifer Clague of Liverpool Harriers (1:21:44) and Lisa Grantham of Chester Tri (1:27:28).

“I really enjoyed the race,” said Baker. “A good, picturesque course and great support from the spectators, even in the more remote places. The few short, sharp climbs were balanced by nice descents.  It felt like I was back into the town centre quite quickly but I must admit I was running scared of second and third!”

Race organiser Chris Hulse said: “From start to finish this has been a wonderful event and we’re absolutely delighted with the number of athletes, volunteers and supporters who all played their part in making it such a remarkable day.

“There were some truly excellent performances and the feedback we have received tells us the new course has been a big hit with participants who were impressed with everything the race had to offer. That kind of feedback makes it all worthwhile and tells us all the hard work from everyone involved and the risk of growing the race substantially, has really paid off.”

“It’s clear from what they are already telling us that a massive thanks from the runners is due to the communities on the course, especially those of Saughall and Blacon, for the support they gave both in terms of encouragement and refreshment!”

Fellow race organiser Andy White added: “We’d like to give thanks to our main sponsor Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, our associate sponsors Big Storage, Prodo Digital, Lexus Chester, Heart FM, West Cheshire AC and Shotz and all the organisations and volunteers, not forgetting the householders on the route who came out to support the runners. All of these people have helped us to produce what we consider to be a special event for Chester. Our aim is to continue to develop and grow the race as we strive to become theUK’s favourite regional half marathon.”

Shaun Rhodes, Marketing Manager for the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet said: “Chris and Andy have taken the baton from the event’s previous organisers, West Cheshire AC, and run onward with their unique flair to produce the phenomenal race Chester witnessed on Sunday.

“Their passion and professionalism ensured it is an event Chester can be proud of. As sponsor we’re delighted to be supporting an event that brings the city together in this great sporting year.”

One of the central aims of the Half Marathon is to support local communities and charities. The expectation is that this event will raise in excess of £250,000 for charitable causes across the region, with the Northern Lights Children’s Charity being the main race charity this year.