Success of Spire Bushey Quarter Marathon 2012

Almost 700 sprinters, joggers and toddlers took to the local streets to compete in the 2012 Spire Bushey Quarter Marathon and Fun Runs on Sunday 1st July.

" We raised a record breaking £7,500 for our chosen charity Help for Heroes, " explained Celia Findlay from David Lloyd Pacers the local running group which took on the mammoth organisational task from John and Helen Hambleton who announced their retirement at the end of last year's race after 25 years.

"Looking at the huge number of competitors and spectators it would have been a real loss to the local community if this event hadn't taken place this year," said Lisa Trybus from the event's main sponsors, Spire Bushey Hospital.

Over 300 people entered on the day itself clearly encouraged out of bed and onto the start line in King George Recreation Ground by the early morning sunshine and the sixty different trophies up for grabs.

"It was really emotional seeing people of all ages queuing up in the park eager to get their entry in before I fired the starting gun," said Mark Fairclough from Help For Heroes who not only got the 6.5 mile Quarter Marathon underway but then ran it!

And 58 minutes later as this ex- serviceman crossed the finishing line to the applause of the enthusiastic crowd; his relief was clear "I never knew there were so many hills in Bushey!"

Clearly, this wasn't a problem for the winner, 16 year old Ben Rothford who completed the testing course in a time of 36 minutes 38 seconds followed by Mark Castelton in second place and Mike Dooley in third. The first woman home was Jenny Maddocks in 43 minutes 44 seconds. With last year's winning team, David Lloyd Pacers too busy organising the event to compete; it was left to Watford Harriers to collect the team prize.

 

The organisers' strategy of visiting local school assemblies to encourage them to take part paid off with a record number of children from two year olds to teenagers tackling the afternoon fun runs.

 

With encouragement from proud parents, every one of them finished their event and queued up to collect their medals and goody bags which contained free swimming vouchers from Bushey Grove Leisure Centre as well as much needed supplies of Haribos donated by Costco (who also provided 1000 bananas and 2000 bottles of water). 

Euan Enright took the top spot in the 1.5 mile under 12 boys' race and Ella Joy in the girls. In the under 10s event, Joseph Yardon in the boys and Masie Phillips in the girls completed the 0.75 mile run round the park in the fastest times.

In the hotly contested school's events, Ashfield Junior repeated last year's success to retain the team trophies with Sacred Heart School winning top spot for the largest number of participants.

 

And at the end of the day as volunteers from Stanmore Air Cadets and 1st Albans Scouts took down the marquees, the forty marshals left their road side positions and the fun fair closed down for the night, one little girl summed up the day, "Why can't we do this every Sunday?"

 

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