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Stroud Half Marathon 2021: Double delight for Stroud runners

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On a perfect day for running, Lee Stopford and Nicholas Coyle made it a Stroud Athletic Club double at the 39th Stroud Half Marathon.

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Runners set off from the start in Cainscross Road. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Stopford, 36, hit the tape ahead of his clubmate Coyle, 34, clocking a winning time of 01:11:51, with Coyle finishing in second in 01:12:06. Third place went to Cheltenham runner Max Kelly in 01:13:45.

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First and second – Lee Stopford and Nick Coyle from Stroud and District Athletics Club. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Former Forest Green, Slimbridge and Shortwood United footballer John Cant crossed the line in an impressive 01:28:24 – finishing just outside the top fifty.

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Former Shortwood United players Matt Bennett and John Cant with their finishers medals. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Elsewhere, Kent AC runner Sarah Hanley was the first female finisher, posting a time of 01:26:15 and the first Stroud AC runner over the line was Kimberley Newcombe in 01:28:33.

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Kimberley Newcombe was the first Stroud lady home. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

More than 600 runners took part, including remarkable Stroud runner Jeff Waters and Dursley AC veteran Kevin Jackson, who have taken part in every Stroud Half since the race was launched in 1982. 

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Sara and Has Gateru. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Meanwhile, Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie ran to raise funds for Rush Skatepark.

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie ran to raise money for Rush Skatepark. Siobhan crossed the line in a time of two hours, five minutes, and eight seconds for the 13.1-mile course and has so far totalled £460 in donations.
“It was a tough run as I haven’t been training much because of work and toddler commitments but I’m really pleased I got around to help such a good cause,” said Siobhan.
“It was brilliant to see Jerry Norman and the Rush team at the finish line cheering me on because I needed it!“Well done to everyone who took part in this fantastic event and those who organised it. It was a great atmosphere all around the course with spectators cheering us on and the runners were encouraging each other too.”
You can still donate to support the Friends of Rush Skatepark at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/siobhan-baillie-stroud-half-marathon 
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Sarah Hanley was the first woman across the line. Picture: Matt Bigwood.
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Kevin Jackson from Dursley has competed in every one of the 39 Stroud Half Marathons. Picture: Matt Bigwood.
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Stroud runners Nick Coyle, Lee Stopford and Kimberley Newcombe with their trophies. Picture: Matt Bigwood.
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Jeff Waters completed his 39th Stroud Half. Picture: Ash Loveridge

More pictures to follow.

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