THE SUN shone on runners, volunteers and supporters at the Clarendon Marathon between Salisbury and Winchester on Sunday.

Organisers couldn’t have asked for a better day as the blue skies made it a day to remember for all involved in the cross-country event.

More than 1,000 runners and walkers pushed themselves through their respective races in the 21st Clarendon Marathon with friends and family cheering them home as they crossed the finishing line at Kings’ School, Winchester. While some ran the full 26.2 miles along the ancient Clarendon Way linking the two cathedral cities, others took part in a half-marathon or a five-mile run.

Andrew Hartley, from Gatley Runners, was the overall winner of the marathon with a time of 3:00:48. Meanwhile the fastest female, Rebecca Vincent, from Hatch Warren Runners, Basingstoke, clocked a time of 3:27:24.

The winner of the half-marathon was Ben Pitman who achieved a time of 1:22:29. Sarah Shedden, Winchester and District Athletics Club, was the first woman to finish the half-marathon in a time of 1:37:39.

Speaking after the event, JJ Heath-Caldwell, chairman of the organising committee, who also ran in the half-marathon, said: “The weather was incredible; blue skies and sunshine. The weather forecast had been bad but that slowly changed.

“It was very muddy in places because there had been a lot of rain in the last week. Once you have run through a few puddles, you get to quite enjoy it.”

JJ paid tribute to all the marshals and volunteers who had given their time freely to make the event a success. The marathon is organised by the Rotary Clubs of Winchester and Salisbury. Proceeds from entry fees is donated to good causes supported by the clubs. Many runners also raise funds for their own chosen charities.

One of the runners, Stephen Sutch, said: “The great thing about the Clarendon for me is the amazing support from numerous marshals all along the route and the views are amazing. The hill climbs can be tough but the sight of runners streaming over them makes for a great spectacle.”