Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Runners brave the elements at Swindon Half Marathon
8:04am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
Supporters cower under umberellas but Swindon Half Marathon competitors get no such respite from the rain that lashed the course yesterday morning
Hundreds of people braved the rain and cold temperatures to take part in Swindon’s 10th half marathon, and among them they raised thousands of pounds for good causes.
Runners from across the borough and country were ready at the start line wearing an array of quirky costumes and red British Heart Foundation t-shirts to complete the 13.1 mile course at Pipers Way, near Nationwide.
There was also a five-mile multi-terrain and 2km fun run, at Pipers Way which were all started by the leader of Swindon Council David Renard.
The gruelling hilly race, which was sponsored by the BHF, was won by Nathan Montague who crossed the finish line an impressive one hour and 16 minutes after beginning.
“I’m ecstatic to have won, I didn’t expect it at all,” said Nathan, who used to live in Parks but now lives in Marlborough.
This year saw 1,105 people turn up for the race, down on last year when approximately 2,000 runners completed the route.
A number of people even donned fancy dress outfits to add a touch of colour to an otherwise dreary day.
Les Slinn, 51, of Haydon Wick wore an Ironman suit with his Slinn Allstars running club. The group this year chose Swindon's Guide Dogs as its charity to support and collected around £7,000 – enough money to buy a new puppy.
“The dogs allow people their freedom back and raises people’s quality of life,” said Les, who has taken part in Swindon’s Half Marathon nine times.
Alan Butler, 42, of Royal Wootton Bassett, completed the whole race in just a skimpy pair of Speedos.
He decided on the unusual attire as he said it was the most effective way to encourage people to donate towards his charity which was Epilepsy Action. His daughter Vikki, 21, suffers from the illness.
“The charity raises awareness about epilepsy so I wanted to support it,” said Alan, who so far has collected approximately £1,500 for his cause. It was the sixth time he had taken part.
Jackie Evans, 50, of Highworth was running for Parkinson’s UK. She picked the cause as her partner's father Len James died from symptoms relating to the illness in August.
“I’ve seen the effect it can have on someone so I thought it would be a good charity to get behind,” said Jackie, who raised about £250.
MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland completed the 2km fun run with his 11-year-old son George.
“It’s become an important event on the Swindon calendar and I’ve enjoyed taking part,” said Robert.