Hundreds hit the road for annual village race

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More than 400 runners aged eight to 80 braved the rain to take part in the 12th annual Stanwick Road Race.

Matthew Almond, 30, of Millholm Road, Desborough, beat more than 360 runners – including one woman in her 80s – to win the 10km race through the countryside around the village yesterday.

PCSO Sean Taylor gets the Stanwick Road Race under way

PCSO Sean Taylor gets the Stanwick Road Race under way

Mr Almond, who set a course record three years ago, said: “It was wet and windy and a bit horrible, but it was a good run out.”

Oliver Sutton, eight, of Raunds, beat about 65 children to win a 2km race for under-15s at his first entry. He said: “It was really good.”

Dad Anthony said: “I’m very proud.”

Rain failed to deter the runners, many of them from athletics clubs.

Even before the race they could be seen jogging around the country lanes to warm up.

Proud family members who turned out to cheer their loved ones past the finish line outside the social club in High Street opted for tea and bacon butties served by members of St Laurence’s Church.

Julia Hill, 41, of Higham Ferrers, who was supporting her husband Shane, said: “This is the second time I have come to watch Shane run it.

“It’s a really local race, so it’s lovely.”

PCSO Sean Taylor, who is part of the safer community team in Thrapston and 100m and 200m police sprint champion, started the children’s race.

He said: “It’s the third time I’ve policed it but the first time I’ve started it.

“It’s great because a lot of the local children who run will know me because I go into the schools.

“I’m the first person to be invited to start it. It shows the community know who I am and want me to be involved, which is what we want as PCSOs.”

Rushden Air Cadets helped marshal the event.

Tim Page, 38, of High Street, Stanwick, who is one of the organisers, said: “It’s a good village event.

“The whole village gets involved.”

All finishers got a medal with the village sign design on it.