Wiltshire Publications

Running fanatics top the podium in Spain

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A DILTON Marsh couple took time out from their ‘relaxing’ holiday in Spain this month to take part in a half marathon race – topping the podium in their respective categories!

Robin-Mark Schols, who organises the annual Hilly Helmet Challenge at the Leighton Recreation Centre, and his wife Judy Schols took part in the Mijas half marathon. 

“We were on holiday in Benalmádena in Andalusia, Spain last week,” explained Robin-Mark, “when I said to my wife Judy I fancied looking for a local race to do if there were any available. We always have our running kit with us and are both training for the Bath Half. I am also doing my fifth London marathon (my tenth in total) in April so racing keeps me sharp. We’re both fairly experienced runners and I am a member of Avon Valley Runners.

“I found a half marathon in Mijas, a pretty local village around 6km from Benalmádena and got us entered into it. The race is held on a public holiday and was the region’s big annual event. 

“The event itself was a multi terrain route starting on the road and taking in trails and a long 500 metres uphill before heading back along the same trails and finishing in the town shopping centre. It was very warm and tough conditions both through the heat and the surfaces we ran on. 

“My wife Judy was runner up in the female vet 50 category and I was runner up in the vet 55 category, though I was 24th overall from a field of about 300 and in front of many runners (and prize winners) younger than me.

“We were tired but excited to win prizes and have them presented to us on a big podium. This was Judy’s first ever prize in a half marathon.”

Now back in the UK, Robin-Mark is preparing for this year’s Hilly Helmet Challenge, which will take place on Wednesday 14th August at the Leighton Recreation Centre. The event is in aid of  Brain Tumour Support and all participants are encouraged to wear a helmet – inspired by Robin-Mark’s experience of having surgery for a brain tumour in 2009. Following treatment, Robin-Mark had to wear a helmet to protect his head whilst running.

Robin-Mark said, “This popular event is returning for a third time. It has been well attended, selling out at both previous events. You can enter online at www. entrycentral.com/thehilly helmetchallenge and find more information on twitter, Facebook or our website www.orangehelmet events.org.uk.

“If there are any local businesses that would like to help support event expenses, we would be very grateful to hear from them.”

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