Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Gem of a Run as Bradley Wins Kielder Marathon

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Gem of a Run as Bradley Wins Kielder Marathon

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill McGuirk

SALTWELL Harriers, who celebrated their 125th anniversary last weekend, had another reason to be proud when Gemma Bradley raced to victory in yesterday's Kielder Marathon. In only her second race over the classic distance, the 36-yearold lined up with more than 600 others and came home in 27th place overall in a time of 3hrs 21min 53secs.

Bradley was always leading the women's contest and the timekeepers had to wait another five minutes before secondplaced Lisa Bennett (New Marske) crossed the line in 3:26.29. Swaledale's Jacqueline Keavney completed the onetwo-three, closing in with a time of 3:27.42.

Gateshead's Conrad Franks made a brave effort to win the men's equivalent but, after being out on his own for more than 20 miles, was eventually reined by Matthew Jones- the Teessider going on to win in 2:43.02.

Franks, who contested the first Kielder Marathon five years ago when he finished in 10th place, received the second-place award on this occasion, ending with a time of 2:45.51.

New Richmond and Zetland signing Mike Jeffress came home in third place in 2:51.11.

For the first time the organisers included a half-marathon on the programme and it was Morpeth's Karl Taylor who was celebrating after breaking the tape in 74min 35secs.

The Northumbrian admitted he was a little tentative in the early stages of the race, having competed the previous day in the National Six-Stage Road Relay Championships in Sutton Coldfield.

Taylor, whose winning time was a few seconds faster on a much tougher course than he recorded in the Great North Run last month, said: "I decided to start off steady after racing yesterday but by halfway when I was already out in front decided to push on a bit.

"The longer the race went the stronger I became and to think I managed to run a pb on a really testing course shows I am in decent shape at the moment.'' Sunderland's Steven McMahon took it steady throughout the 13 miles and finished a comfortable second in 79:18, while London visitor Ben Wickham raced into third place in 82:07. …

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