Nearly 4,000 runners line up for 'poignant' New Forest Marathon 2022
NEARLY 4,000 runners stepped forward for the New Forest Marathon yesterday (Sunday), marking the first time the event has been held in the national park since 2019.
A 30-second round of applause for the Queen, who died last Thursday, took place ahead of the start of each event.
Race director Chris Farr, of ORA Events, described the mood as “poignant and respectful”, adding: “Many runners choose to wear black as a mark of respect.
"The applause at the beginning of the events was quite incredible – it was a very poignant moment. “
“We were pleased that we took the decision to go ahead. Most of the participants are also raising money for charities, as well as the New Forest Marathon Community Fund which supports local groups and organisations. It was a very respectful day.”
For more photos and to buy, visit: www.photos.iliffemedia.co.uk/p102852084
Race entries for the full marathon received an unexpected boost on Friday evening after an announcement that the Richmond Marathon, which was also due to take place on Sunday, had been postponed.
Chris said: “We had an influx of runners who came down on the train from London – I think we had 106 entries overnight on Friday which meant we had to print additional race packs that were brought down on Saturday evening ready to be handed out on Sunday.”
Sunshine and a light breeze on Sunday were described by Chris as "absolutely ideal" conditions for the programme of seven events. As well as a full and half-marathon, they included a woodland walk, a junior 200-metre and one-mile race, and a 5k and 10k route.
ORA Events has organised the New Forest Marathon since 2015 but the 2020 and 2021 marathons had to be relocated to St Giles house in Wimborne after Forestry England issued a blanket ban on events being held in forests due to the pandemic.
Chris said: “It was absolutely incredible to be back in the New Forest where the marathon belongs.
"We know that our participants absolutely love the course and it is so different from a city marathon, just a completely different vibe, so it was a very special day to be back.”
First across the line in the full marathon was Rick Weston with a time of 2hrs 46mins 31secs, with the fastest half-marathon completed by Rob Mctaggart in a time of 1hr 10mins 3secs.
The fastest 10k runner was Richard Waldron in a time of 34mins 49secs; and the first to finish the 5km event was Edgar Zanin with a time of 19mins, 16secs.
For full 2022 marathon results and details of next year’s event, which is set to take place on Sunday 10th September, visit www.newforestmarathon.co.uk