St Albans Half Marathon another stomping success

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 June 2019

The 38th annual St Albans Half Marathon in 2019. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th annual St Albans Half Marathon in 2019. Picture: Greg Toth

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The 38th annual St Albans Half Marathon was another stomping success.

The 38th annual St Albans Half Marathon in 2019. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th annual St Albans Half Marathon in 2019. Picture: Greg Toth

Thousands of people thronged to Verulamium Park on June 9 to take part in and watch this year's event, which has raised an estimated £17,000 to £20,000 for various local causes and groups.

Runners could choose between a 13.1 walking, running or wheelchair course, a 5K around Verulamium Lake, or a 1.5-mile Fun Run for children.

The fastest entrant was Paul Adams, who completed the half marathon in one hour, 13 minutes and 28 seconds, and the quickest woman was Rachel Felton with a time of one hour, 19 minutes, and 49 seconds.

Event director Martin Day said: "It went really well, the weather turned out lovely, despite the forecast, and it was a great day with a massive attendance."

Elizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by BupaElizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by Bupa

Founder of the event, Phil Gibson, once again completed the 13.1-mile route - as he has for 38 years.

The St Albans Half Marathon's main charity this year was Peace Hospice Care.

One running team was made up of 11 staff and residents from Bupa's Tenterden House in Bricket Wood, who were returning to the event for the third year running.

Elizabeth Barber was part of the team, despite having suffered a life-changing stroke in August 2016.

Elizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by BupaElizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by Bupa

She was left paralysed and unable to speak, and medics feared she would never recover. However, after extensive treatment at Tenterden House, Elizabeth felt strong enough to walk the route in 2018 and again this year.

Elizabeth had been a keen runner before the stroke, having completed three more marathons since her first at age 58.

"After my stroke I was just lucky to be alive. When it began to dawn on me, I wouldn't complete another race, I was devastated," she said.

"Running was such a big part of my life, and so to have the thrill of crossing a finish line once again is really special."

Elizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by BupaElizabeth Barber once again walked the St Albans Half Marathon after suffering a stroke in 2016. Picture: Submitted by Bupa

Fellow resident Josephine Stern, from Bupa's Bricket Wood care home Allington Court, also joined the team after recovering from a broken hip.

Deputy manager for Tenterden House, Delia Abaza, said: "Seeing the determination in Elizabeth's eyes last year really inspired her fellow residents to give it a go - we also managed to get more of our fantastic nurses onboard to join us at the race."

Next year's 39th St Albans Half Marathon is scheduled for June 14, 2020.

The St Albans Half Marathon has been going for 38 years. Picture: Greg TothThe St Albans Half Marathon has been going for 38 years. Picture: Greg Toth

The St Albans Half Marathon has been going for 38 years. Picture: Greg TothThe St Albans Half Marathon has been going for 38 years. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

St Albans mayor Cllr Janet Smith at the start of the St Albans Half Marathon. Picture: Greg TothSt Albans mayor Cllr Janet Smith at the start of the St Albans Half Marathon. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

The 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg TothThe 38th St Albans Half Marathon in 2019 saw thousands of runners and spectators. Picture: Greg Toth

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