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Running event is huge success

Hundreds of runners took to the paths alongside the River Exe for the Half Marathon weekend – including a Royal Marine with a fridge strapped to his back and the manager of Exeter City Football Club.

The two-day event, which is organised by Exeter City Community Trust – the football club’s partner charity – saw the fastest competitors taking on the distance on Saturday, with the remaining participants running on Sunday.

Royal Marine Sam Hammond was amongst the finishers on Sunday, completing the event in just under two hours and 22 minutes – an incredible feat – with a 30kg fridge on his back. He used the event as a training run for a Guinness World Record half marathon attempt later this month and to raise funds for the forces charity SSAFA. Following that, he plans to try and break the marathon record for running with a fridge at the London Marathon in April.

Sam, 30 who is a weapons instructor based at RNAS Culdrose, said he was delighted with his time as the current record stands at just over two hours and 45 minutes.

He said: “It all went well and I ended up running much faster than I intended. I’m over the moon!”

Sam has some adjustments to make to the frame which supports the fridge, as it rubbed very badly during the race, but he says he’s all set now for the world record attempt which will take place at the Brighton Half Marathon in two weeks.

Exeter City manager Gary Caldwell, his management team and staff from Exeter City Academy and Exeter City Community Trust were also amongst the finishers on Sunday. To date the group has raised more than £3,000 for charity. The funds will be split between supporting the work of Exeter City Community Trust and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, following both former Grecian Marcus Stewart and Exeter City Community Trust Social Inclusion Officer Pete Eveleigh being diagnosed with the disease.

Jamie Vittles, chief executive of Exeter City Community Trust, said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in the half marathon over the weekend. Thanks to our event sponsors Tozers Law and our partners HSBC, Radio Exe and Exeter Live Better – we’re very grateful for their support which enables us to stage our running events and in turn raise funds for our work in the community.

“Thanks also to our partner charities, Alright Mate? CIC; Julian House and Exeter Leukaemia Fund for their support, all of our volunteer marshals, and the members of Exeter College’s sports therapy team who supported the event offering sports massages to our participants.”

The first three men on Saturday were:

1 – Jacob Maddison

2 – William Trew

3 – Jason Hurford

The first three women on Saturday were:

1 – Rosie Mew

2 – Kelly Dicks

3 – Victoria Hill

The first three men on Sunday were:

1 – James Pugsley

2 – Gwylym Gibson

3 – Carl Murphy

The first three women home on the Sunday were:

1 – Florence Sargent

2 – Stacie Marks

3 – Maddy Adamson

The next events in the Exeter City Community Trust running calendar are the 10 and 20 miles Granite Way event on March 12 which sees runners heading out from Okehampton on the Granite Way trail across Dartmoor. This is followed by the charity’s flagship event, the Exeter Live Better Marathon on May 14 along the paths beside the River Exe and through the Riverside Valley Park, which is also the location of the 10k River Run on June 30.

To sign up, or find out more, visit www.exetercct.org