Overall winner Dominic Croft. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
A SEASONED expert at running the IW Marathon returned after a six-year absence to win again — but this time he found it far harder.
Dominic Croft, 46, of Bristol, won the event in 1999 and from 2004 to 2006, and returned this year to take the title in a great time of 2.41.40.
He said: "It was a lot harder than I remember, the bits they’ve changed are a lot harder. I just love doing this race."
Second was Middlesex runner Crispin Allen, while last year’s champion, Ryde Harrier Les Cupis, came third. Les, 49, of Whitwell, actually ran five minutes faster than his winning time last year, crossing the line in 3.01.41.
"It is a PB on this course so I’m happy, but my legs were tightening along the way," he said.
The first woman to finish was Helen Bennett, another Bristol runner, but whose parents live in Northwood. Her father, Alan, was a prolific Ryde Harrier, and Helen has taken to running IW events to emulate his success.
Helen, 33, was making her IW Marathon debut, and said: "This was actually my first proper marathon. I’m better at longer distances but I’ve done mainly cross-country in the past. You have to push through the pain limit.
"I have to say the marshalling and organisation here is fantastic, as well as all the support along the way."
Other IW runners featuring highly included Harriers’ Kristian Rowdon, Mary Norman and Tracey Dillon and IW Road Runners’ Stuart Backhouse and Eric Smith. Steve Gratton, of Wight Tri, fresh from the World Duathlon Championships, came 14th in 3.22.53.
More than 100 runners took part in the run, with the last runner finishing after a gruelling six hours and five minutes.
For the full results, visit www.rydeharriers.co.uk
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
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