683 runners completed the 2019 Forest of Dean Autumn Trails Half Marathon on Sunday. The torrential rain that had been forecast didn't appear and the race was run under mostly dry conditions although a bit muddy underfoot. This didn't deter the runners at all!
The race was won by Eliot Taylor in a time of 1:16:22, followed by Matthew Rees and Steve Kenyon. The first lady finisher was Molly Browne in a time of 1:25:23, followed by Jo Gallagher and Faye Johnson. The first Forest of Dean man was Marcus Bennetto of Coleford; the first Forest of Dean lady was Kate Breeze of Yorkley.
This annual race, organized by the Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean, is now in its 8th year. It is the younger sister of the larger Spring event which has been running for over 31 years. The race is run under formal UK Athletics rules with the active support of the Trail Running Association.
The Forest of Dean Autumn 5k Run was held at the same time. 96 runners completed the course.
The funds raised by this race go to support many local charities, while many runners are running for their own charities, too. Of special note was Adam Ainsworth, CEO of SafeLane Global based in Ross-on-Wye. His company is active in clearing mines in troubled parts of the world, and 100 SafeLane Global staff are running half marathons to raise £10,000 for charity, including Adam (bib 3335) in the Forest of Dean Half Marathon. These funds will be used to support victims of landmines and explosive accidents.
We can now look forward to the 2020 Forest of Dean Spring Half Marathon, to be run on 29 March 2020.
The Club is proud to be able to support the Forest community and the funds raised by the Rotary Forest of Dean Half Marathon events enable it to do so with real purpose.