Runners race against the wind to complete courses
RUNNERS faced a tough fight against strong winds at this year's Experian Robin Hood Festival of Running.
More than 10,000 people took part in the races which took runners across the city yesterday.
Many runners said the weather had slowed them down considerably, leading to disappointing finishing times.
But winner of the full marathon Carl Allwood, 36, of Basford, who had only done two marathons before, said he managed to beat his personal best.
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"I'm really pleased," he said. "I owe it all to my club. They've been really supportive."
Mr Allwood, who joined the Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers and Athletics Club two years ago, said he had been in full training for four months.
He completed the 26.2-mile course in two hours and 38 minutes, beating his personal best by around five minutes.
"It's just overwhelming," he added. "I've come second and third in races before but never first. This is fantastic.
"It's a very hard route, especially the last six miles, where we had headwind all the way back."
More than 2,000 people took part in the full marathon which started at the Victoria Embankment.
Sarah Harris, 35, of Sandiacre, was the first woman to finish.
She said she had only taken up running properly two years ago with her husband, Rod Harris, 39.
"I have a very busy daily schedule," said the mum of three. "But I love running and if you love something you manage to fit it in somehow."
Mrs Harris and her husband get up every morning at 5.30am to run together.
"I really enjoyed the run today. Around Holme Pierrepont was the hardest bit.
"It was just unbelievably windy.
"The wind just knocks you about and you can't escape it.
"But you just had to relax into it. I probably lost about three minutes due to the wind."
Mrs Harris, who ran for the Long Eaton Running Club, finished in two hours and 47 minutes.
Meanwhile, the men's and women's half-marathons were won by two elite Kenyan runners who are managed by international sports management company Run-Fast.
Dorcus Chesang, 23, who won the women's half-marathon, said the race was "not easy".
She finished the 21K course in one hour and 14 minutes, finishing some four and a half minutes ahead of her closest rival.
"While I was running I saw a lot of men behind me, but not any women," she said.
Elisha Tarus, 24, won the men's half-marathon in one hour and five minutes, with the second-placed runner finishing almost four minutes behind him.
"I'm happy with my time," he said. "I've been training for four years and eventually want to take part in the Olympics."
The only participant in the wheelchair race was Phil Hogg, 42, of Heanor, who finished in one hour and six minutes.
He said the course was hilly, and the wind had made it even more challenging.