Thousands take part in marathon

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Thousands of runners braved wet and windy weather to take part in Preston’s first Guild marathon.

A total of 4,650 competitors took part in the marathon and half-marathon events which saw well-wishers line the streets to offer support.

Photo Ian Robinson'Preston Guild Half Marathon

Photo Ian Robinson'Preston Guild Half Marathon

The course took them from the Flag Market in the city centre through to Penwortham and out into the rural Fylde around Kirkham before returning.

There was also a mini-marathon for youngsters aged 11-17 years and street races for children organised through local schools.

Race organiser Phil Walsh, of Preston Council, said the turn-out from competitors and the crowds had been “absolutely brilliant” despite the poor conditions.

He added: “It is a tough course and the weather does not make it any easier, it has been a long time coming but we are delighted with how it has gone.

“This will be the last marathon for 20 years, until the next Guild, but I am sure there is going to be more half-marathons as a legacy of the Guild.”

Blackburn Harriers member Ben Fish, 30, of Darwen, won the marathon in a time of 2 hours 21 minutes with Preston Harriers’ Gary Pennington winning the half-marathon in one hour and 14 minutes.

See Monday’s Lancashire Evening Post for photographs from all the races.