Zoe takes hometown honours

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Zoe Heath made a successful return to the town for today’s fourth running of the Halifax Marathon and Half-Marathon from Dean Clough Industrial Park.

Heath, who lives in Stoke and is a member of Newcastle (Staffs) Tri Club, headed south almost 20 years ago but still has family in Shibden and Boothtown.

She clocked four hours and 12 minutes to win the marathon by two minutes from another long distance visitor, Andrea Blanshard, whose husband Sam finished third in the men’s race.

The Blanshards are members of Calder Valley Fell Runners and live in West London.

The event attracts plenty of long-distance visitors and Dan Mitchell from Chester celebrated his 24th birthday by winning the men’s race in just under three hours and 10 minutes.

Halifax Harriers’ Paul Booker, winner of the 13 miler in 2015 and 26 miler last year, had to settle for fourth in the longer race this time.

The half-marathon honours went to local runner Anna Walker and Huddersfield’s Jamie Brannan.

The event, organised by Huddersfield company Team OA, attracted 110 runners in the half marathon and 60 in the full marathon.

A testing route took in Brackenbed, Mount Tabor, Mixenden, Ogden, the Raggalds pub near Queensbury, Bradshaw, Illingworth, Ploughcroft and Claremount.

Marathon runners did two laps of the course.

Conditions were good with bright sunshine and a cooling breeze.

Results - Half-marathon - women: 1, Anna Walker 1:55:10; 2, Colette Longstaffe 1:55:17; 3, Lauren Williams 1:56:31.

Men: 1, Jamie Brann 1:27:09; 2, R Cartwright 1:33:20.

Marathon - women: Zoe Heath 4:12:00; 2, Andrea Blanshard 4:14:00; 3, Beth Taylor-Jones 4:26:00.

Men: 1, D Mitchell 3:09:51; 2, S Kirk 3:10:33; 3, S Blanchard 3:12:49.