Sheffield athlete Andrew Thake beat a 430-strong field to win the Eyam Half Marathon for the fourth year running.
The Hallamshire Harrier crossed the line in one of road racing’s toughest events in a time of 1:16:40, a staggering five minutes ahead of his nearest rival, unattached runner Matthew Battensby. Stephen Pope was third in 1:22:06 in blustery conditions.
The popular, stamina-sapping event takes competitors on a gruelling course involving more than 1,200 ft of ascent. The race is a single loop circuit run entirely on the road surface and passes through Bretton and Abney, skirts around Eyam Moor and returns to the Peak District village via Sir William Hill.
Making it a Hallamshire Harrier double, Liz Such picked up the ladies trophy in a time of 01:28:39. She was just over a minute ahead of Christine Howard of Matlock AC (1:29:59) with Sally Fawcett of Racing TNT coming home third in 1:32:33.
The efforts of all runners were honoured on the day with a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s C-47 Dakota.
To mark the Royal British Legion’s 90th year, the race organizers nominated the Legion poppy Appeal as one of its main charities.
Eyam Half Marathon Committee chairman Steve Brown said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Memorial Flight agreed to provide a flypast. It was a fabulous sight and a real honour.”
Over the last 17 years Eyam half marathon has not only become one of the most respected and well-loved road races in the country, it has helped the ‘plague village’ raise more than £100,000 largely for cancer charities and local community organisations.
Steve added: “It never ceases to amaze me how this event captures the imagination of runners and has become such a popular and respected half marathon.
“This is all down to the generosity and support of the people of Eyam and the surrounding villages. We again received a lot of comments from runners full of praise for the way the event was organized which is a credit to the many volunteer marshals and helpers on the day.”
In this submitted picture, courtesy of Craig Johnson, Andrew Thake is shown on his way to victory.