JAMES CONNOR took the honours at the inaugural Worthing Half Marathon race on Sunday.
Connor, 32, who runs for Kent Athletics Club, completed the 13.1 mile course in an impressive time of one hour and eight minutes to become the first ever winner in Worthing.
The race saw a fantastic turnout of 1,472 runners, with competitors gathering at Marine Parade’s start point before navigating around town and then returning for a seafront finish.
Connor’s nearest rival was Richard Waldron who finished a minute and 13 seconds after the Kent runner, while third went to Brighton & Hove Athletic Club’s Kevin Rojas, completing the course in one hour ten minutes and 35 seconds.
Kent runner Connor’s race win was all the more impressive as he has suffered with hamstring, knee and back problems in recent times.
He said: “I didn’t know it this was the first time it had been run. I looked online before the race to see what times were recorded before but couldn’t find anything.
“I only entered a few months ago so I’ve been in training since that point getting ready for the race.
“In recent times, I’ve been really unfortunate with injuries and was hoping to finish in a time of under 70 minutes, which I did.
“It was really breezy for the final three miles so it was tough coming back but on the way out it was quite nice.
“I’ve had knee, back and hamstring problems in recent times so it’s nice to win. My plan was to go out hard and that start and once I was ahead relax and that worked well.”
There was some home success in the female race as Worthing Harriers’ Rebecca Moore was the first lady across the finish line.
A fine run from the 24-year-old saw her come home in a time of one hour 16 minutes and 52 seconds, claiming an eight-placed finish overall in the process.
The second women to complete the course was London Heathside’s Rebecca Bunting, a huge seven minutes and 52 seconds after Moore.
In the final medal position, Emily Proto came home in one hour 26 minutes and two seconds.
Harriers runner Moore was a little shocked to claim first-placed female following minimal training in the lead up.
She said: “It was a really good course and I really enjoyed the race. I haven’t done a lot of training coming into this so to get a personal best time and become the female winner is fantastic.
“I’ve had a little while out over the winter but the conditions were quite favourable for the race.
“There were so many familiar faces around and it was such a nice feeling to win this event.”
With the weather remaining pleasant for runners and such huge numbers taking part race director Richard Xerri would welcome a return to Worthing again next year.
He said: “Obviously, there were lots of challenges with it being a new event but I think on the whole it went well.
“It’s been a great turnout and to see as many at the start was fantastic. The weather was good aswell and hopefully we’ll be able to hold the event again next year.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.