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2005 Review Half Marathon

2005 Review Half Marathon

Paula Craig starting the 2005 Review Half Marathon
Wheelchair athlete Paula Craig started the 2005 Review Half Marathon
THE Review Half Marathon drew record numbers on Sunday with runners and spectators flooding into Verulamium Park for the popular race in its 24th year.

More than 5,000 people took part in the event, which saw ' own Sam Pullan, 33, slash previous records to finish the 13.1 mile race in just one hour, 13 minutes and five seconds.

Defending champion Laura Cowley, 23, from Hatfield was the first woman to cross the line, with a finishing time of one hour, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.

Shorter fun runs of 1.5 and three miles also attracted thousands of entrants – some as young as two years old.

Wheelchair athlete Paula Craig and Mayor Malcolm MacMillan set the races in motion from the starting line at Westminster Lodge leisure centre.

Mr MacMillan was the first mayor ever to participate in the race itself, running the three mile fun run as well as presenting prizes to winners.

Addressing the crowds, he said: "Civic pride in is alive and well and anybody who is here cannot fail to appreciate what a marvellous event this is. It really is the high point of ' year."

As well as the 1,700 runners competing in the half marathon, many people walked the course at an energetic pace starting at 8am – two hours ahead of the main event.

Other younger participants were pushed round the course in buggies and wheelchairs or had a privileged position on the shoulders of adult runners.

Half marathon runners were timed by the chip system used in the London Marathon with all runners attaching an electronic chip to their shoes to record their finishing times and track them along the route.

The event is hoped to have raised thousands of pounds for local charities Aspire and Herts Young Homeless Group.

Paul Craig, an ambassador for Aspire, said: "Each and everyone here has made a huge difference to somebody who suffers from spinal injuries.

"Aspire does so much to help people like myself who have spinal injuries and it really does rely on events like these. It is always a fantastic day."

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