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Near perfect conditions help Great Cumbrian Run competitors

Conditions were near perfect for the Cumberland Building Society Great Cumbrian Run yesterday.

The field of 1,800 runners – down slightly on 2009 – were spared rain or excessive heat as they pounded the 13.1-mile route.

The half marathon begins at Carlisle Castle and goes through Cumwhinton, Wetheral and Scotby to finish at the Sheepmount Athletics Stadium.

First home was Ian Crampton, 48, of Durham City Harriers, in 73 minutes 13 seconds.

The Great Cumbrian Run no longer awards prize money and so fails to attract the international athletes who used to come.

As such the course record of 63 minutes 34 seconds, set by Francis Bowen in 2004, is likely to stand for some time.

The first woman, Joasia Zakrzewski, 34, of Dumfries Running Club, was even more surprised to win – she hadn’t intended to run at all.

She said: “I came to support my friend but she texted me this morning to say she was injured so I thought, I’m here so I might as well do it.”

Ms Zakrzewski finished in 83 minutes 47 seconds, shaving nearly four minutes off her time last year when she was runner up.

Most runners were happy just to complete the course and, in many cases, to raise money for good causes in the process.

The British Red Cross and CFM Radio’s Cash for Kids were the official race charities but many others benefited too.

In addition to the main race, there was also a 1.5 mile fun run through Bitts Park.

Plucky Olivia Story stole everyone’s heart by completing the family event on prosthetic limbs.

Her mum Kimberly Brown said: “She did really well. It was a big achievement.

“She wasn’t feeling very well, she had an ear infection and a bit of a temperature, so we walked all the way.”

Olivia wasn’t the only brave youngster to join the fun run.

Ethan Tweedie, who had surgery to remove a brain tumour in 2009 when he was just six, was well enough to participate.

Ethan, of Dalesman Drive, Carlisle, and Olivia were among the 500 or so entries in what is officially billed as CFM Radio’s Cash for Kids Family Fun Run.

Fifteen-year-old Wigton athlete Abbie Hetherington, who has represented England, won the race outright and was fastest girl for the third year in a row.

The first three boys were Matthew Salkeld, Ben Welsh and Joe Ibbotson.

Different photos in today's News & Star

Full list of runners only in tomorrow's News & Star

Have your say

I think £22.50 entry was quite steep, considering you got a banana, drink, biscuits and t-shirt - which incidentally is not dri-fit, so no good for running!

Posted by ANDREW KENNEDY on 13 October 2010 at 19:57

Great event and a brilliant way of seeing the city and outskirts, thanks to all who clapped me and all the runners past. (P.S i didnt chuck my water bottles on the verges!)

Posted by Tony Lopez on 11 October 2010 at 21:21

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