A good day for Cransley Hospice

A bright and breezy day greeted runners at the village of Cranford, near Kettering, for the annual Cransley Hospice, 10K and Half Marathon. Almost 600 athletes toed the line: some seasoned club runners, others attempting a personal challenge for the first time in order to raise large amounts for this most worthwhile of charities. Well-known local athlete Ben Sharman, who competes on the national stage for Birchfield Harriers, won the 10K with a great deal to spare, finishing the undulating course in 34.13. Second was Corby's Alex Wright (35.40) and third was Oliver Mason from Peterborough in 35.47. First lady was Debbie Marsden (Westbury Harriers), like Ben a former member of host club Kettering Town Harriers, who finished in the excellent time of 38.02. Runner-up was Pactrac's Caroline Coulter (42:40), followed by Corby's Catherine Wright (43:34) who ensured there was a double celebration in their household.

The master of the half marathon course proved yet again to be multiple former winner Mike Aldridge (Wootton Road Runners) who clocked 71:58 to finish over three minutes ahead of Kettering's Damian Carr (75:39). Corby's Troy Garrity (76:34) was third. There were fine performances from the ladies, too, as Kirsty Gallagher made it a Wootton double with a comfortable win in 84:08. Northampton Road Runners took second and third places in the shape of Maree Jesson (90:54) and Steph Russell (91:56).

The runners streamed in to the finish for another couple of hours, spurred on by supportive villagers and the knowledge that their efforts were making a difference to the lives of many local people.