The BMAF Half Marathon Championships this year was incorporated into the Northampton Half Marathon.  63 BMAF competitors were at the start in the centre of Northampton in a total field of 672.  The weather was perfect for running and the course had it all – a tour of Northampton’s heritage before heading out of town for some picturesque largely flat countryside running and an inspiring finish in the shadow of Delapre Abbey. The first three finishers were already in leading group after 5 metres and the first two stayed close to each other throughout with Peter Tucker just coming out on top by five seconds to be the overall race winner as well as 1st BMAF M35 in a time of 1:12:44.  In fact, the first three men as well as the first three women in the open race were all masters athletes highlighting  the strength of Masters Athletics in Great Britain . The second-place finisher is now planning to join MMAC whilst Chris Biddle was 3rd overall and 2nd BMAF M35.   All the men’s age groups were well-represented and the other men’s category winners were Tyrone Farrer (M40), Charles Wartnaby (M45), Christopher Hollinshead (M50), Stephen Watmough (M55), Paul Mingay (M60), Des Michael (M65), Geoff Newton (M70) and John Gardener (M75).   Teams from Cannock & Stafford and Warrington won the M35 and M55 categories respectively.

The BMAF women’s race was won by Michelle Buckle of Newcastle Staffs in a time of 1:29:13 and she brought along two more W40 team-mates Lindsay Dixon who finished in a time of 1:29:57 and Carey Dyer in 1:41:34 to ensure they won the women’s W35 team category.   Other category winners were Cath Ulliott (W50), Carol Marsh (W55), Alison White (W60), Angela Copson (W70).  Angela was 10th overall woman and her time of 1:40:44 is a new British W70 best performance and only 13 secs short of the European best.

Peter Kennedy 04/09/2017

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