The 12th May saw the annual Hard Way Half Marathon take place on Portland, organised by Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club, the course is a testing one that takes runners from the top of the island, to the bottom and back up again by way of Chesil Beach, Lancridge and the Goat Path! As per previous years the race director had booked good weather and conditions were excellent on the day. This year saw 92 runners start the race with everyone finishing in good time; some runners were taking part to compete for the prizes on offer, whilst others were doing it for a personal challenge or for charity, whether Hard Way veterans or first timers to the event, all the competitors encouraged and supported each other and the atmosphere before, during and after the race was amazing. Th winner of the Hard Way was Simon Arthur, from local club Egdon Heath Harriers who completed the course in an amazing 1:32:47 and 1st Female was Sarah Hyde, also from Egdon Heath Harriers who also did an inspirational time of 1:51:28. Portland runners Dale Woolley and Julie Orton, both of Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club did Portland and their club proud by securing 3rd Male and 2nd Female placings. This year also saw the inspirational RMPAC legend Mike Tizard, who established the Hard Way and was its race director for many years, have the opportunity to run the race competitively for the first time ever, coming a very respectful 4th in category…it could have been higher if he hadn’t been soaking up the attention on the way round! To reflect this milestone Mike was given the bib number 1 to wear along with a presentation to mark the occasion and his dedication to the event since its start. On finishing he was heard to remark how tough the course was…the response from all present was “well you designed it!”.
As usual these events, organised by small local clubs like RMPAC, couldn’t take part without the support of an army of volunteers and helpers and we would like to extend our thanks to the families and friends of RMPAC who marshalled, signed the route and helped out behind the scenes on the day, we would also like to thank St Johns Ambulance for providing Medical cover, Portland United FC for allowing us the use of the Blues Club, Portland Sea Cadets for manning our water stations and providing much needed support to the runners and lastly the people of Portland for their support leading up to and during the event.
Next years event is on the 17th May and as a small race with a 150 limit we anticipate places going fast as the event grows, so start training, book early and see you on the start line!