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JAFFA’s Helen Davies runs swift time despite strong winds at Great Bentley Half-Marathon

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2020

Helen Davies, pictured winning a hat-trick of Brighton Marathon titles, was first lady and seventh overall at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS

Helen Davies, pictured winning a hat-trick of Brighton Marathon titles, was first lady and seventh overall at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS

SPORTS ACTION PHOTO

Battered by strong winds, Helen Davies still posted an impressive time at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon, held on a flat but very windswept 13.1-mile course on Sunday morning.

Scott Ramsey, who finished third at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon, and Helen Davies, who was first lady and seventh overall. Picture: LLOYD CHAPMANScott Ramsey, who finished third at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon, and Helen Davies, who was first lady and seventh overall. Picture: LLOYD CHAPMAN

Great Britain international long-distance runner Davies, who has represented her country at major championships and was second at the World Ultra Championships last year, was targeting a personal time at Great Bentley.

In the end Davies, of Ipswich JAFFA, had to settle for a very solid time of 1hr 13mins 29secs in seventh place overall. Suffolk's leading lady, who was 10 minutes ahead of her closest female rivals, has a personal best of 1:12:35, set at the Bath Half-Marathon in 2012.

The first Suffolk finisher at Great Bentley was an in-form Scott Ramsey, of Hadleigh Hares, who conquered the conditions to clip 19 seconds off his PB with 1:12:25 in third. Ramsey was third overall, and was actually hoping to break 1:12, although the wind scuppered that plan.

"The wind was damaging to the times, and I felt quite battered afterwards," admitted Davies.

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"We headed into the wind on the first loop, and it then picked up during the race. Miles seven to nine were the worst, with a cross-wind and then a head-wind, and from miles 11 to 13 it was just horrible with the wind almost knocking you sideways.

"I had wanted to run a PB, and get in the low 1:12s, but hearing the forecast I had to change focus and in the end run a solid race.

"It was challenging, but character-building. I felt like I was running through treacle at times, but I knew that I was in PB shape. I'm hoping for better conditions at the Bath Half," added Davies.

The race was won by Peter Robinson, of Springfield Striders, who powered home in 1:09:06 to finish nearly two minutes clear of runner-up Michael Waddington (Ware Joggers), who ran 1:11:04.

Following Ramsey in third was Tim Woulfe (Braintree & District), who clocked 1:12:39 in fourth, pursued by the Springfield double act of Alex Manton (fifth, 1:13:23) and James Sullivan (sixth, 1:13:26), with Helen Davies just three seconds further behind in seventh.

Also to the fore were Tiptree's Aaron Graves (15th, in 1:16:34), Harwich Runners' Stephen Peck (first over-40, 1:16:39), Colchester Harriers' Mark McKeown and Jason Gunn (both 1:16:46), plus JAFFA's Adam Wade (1:17:03).


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