Sunday’s 35th Ikano Robin Hood Full, Half and Mini Marathons saw more than 10,000 runners take to the streets of Nottingham with many hoping to surpass their personal best race time and raise thousands of pounds for charitable causes.
The picturesque new route included more of Nottingham’s landmarks than ever before and certainly impressed participants with the sights of the city while putting them through their paces.
Richard Whitehead MBE, 200m T42 Paralympic Champion and Marathon World Record Holder, on behalf of Ikano Bank wished wheelchair racers good luck and sent them on their way at 9.25, followed by half and full marathon runners at 9.30.
He commented: “It is great to be part of such a fantastic event on my doorstep and I always enjoy the opportunity to show the athletes taking part my support. I had the chance to speak to some of the runners the night before and shared some of my own top tips so hopefully they took advantage of that. The atmosphere was brilliant throughout the race and I enjoyed being part of such a successful day.”
7,280 competitors took part in the iconic 13.1 mile half marathon route and crossing the finish line first was Morris Muene Gachaga from Kenya – who completed the course in a fantastic time of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 34 seconds. In the women’s event the winner was Sharon Barlow, from Ripon Runners who finished in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 32 seconds.
Blind half marathon runner Netty Stevens crossed the line with Sheena Parry who acted as her eyes throughout the course. They ran together with Sheena instructing when to turn left or right and warning of any potential hazards – they finished the course in 2 hours 38 minutes. 49 year old Netty lost her sight in November 2000 but that didn’t stop her doing what she loves.
She comments: “Before I lost my sight I used to love running and thought that would be the one thing I would never be able to do again. Today was the first half marathon Sheena and I have completed and it was such a wonderful feeling. It feels amazing now I’ve done it!”
The full marathon saw 1,238 tackle the 26.2 mile route, which took in a number of iconic Nottingham landmarks including Nottingham University Jubilee Campus, Nottingham Castle and Wollaton Park. The first place finisher in the men’s event was Christopher Zablocki who crossed the line in 2 hours 24 minutes and 21 seconds accompanied by rapturous support across the Victoria Embankment.