Welsford leads Sidmouth group home in Torbay half marathon

LAST Sunday (June 19) saw the twentieth running of the popular Torbay half marathon with over 2,000 athletes at the start line; write Lesley Roberts and Mark Keast.

Starting and finishing on Paignton Green, the runners were taken on a two lap course out of Paignton to Torquay and back. The route took runners up over Gasworks Hill which then dips before another steep climb to Corbyn Head. There follows a run down onto Torquay Seafront, past the Marina, where a turn at the pavilion is followed by a run back to Paignton, up and down the other sides of the two hills - and then you do it all again!

Up and out the door at 6.45am were Becky Robson, Sarah Watkins, Anne Langworthy and Lesley Roberts loaded with gels and energy drinks for the race.

Joining the intrepid quartet at the start line were Phil Welsford, Shaun Tipton, Sarah Brown, Lynda Hawkins, Helen Palmer, Paul Mitchell and Jane Hemsworth.

Improving on last year the course was pretty much traffic free, thanks to Torbay Council, and it was also well marshalled with numerous drinks stations en-route.

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Phil Welsford and Lesley Roberts both finished in 1.41, with Phil just having the edge to come in first for Sidmouth.

Paul Mitchell looked very comfortable as he ran through in 1.45, as did Becky Robson, who was clearly delighted with her 1.53 finish, as she had paced herself on 1.55, well done Becky. Sarah Watkins and Lynda Hawkins both completed in under the 2 hours.

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Just over the two hour mark came Jane Hemsworth, who we understand was still tired from her dancing at the ‘Take That’ Concert, closely followed by the more sedate Helen Palmer accompanied by Sarah Brown and Shaun Tipton.

As it was Fathers Day we all finished up with lunch at The Flagship Restaurant in Paignton where we were joined by the rest of our families.

Those that had run enjoyed a well earned glass of wine whilst the children and a few fathers took part in the events on the green such as Donkey Rides and the Bouncy Castle.

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