KEVIN Deakes returned from the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships in Finland with a share of a team bronze medal for Great Britain in the half-marathon on Easter Sunday.
The Northern AC runner was the first of the three British team members to finish in the over-50s class, in which he was eighth out of 52 in a time of 1hr 19min 51sec.
He admits that his time might have been quicker had he not picked up a head cold on Friday that kept him awake much of that night. He spent most of Saturday in bed in an effort to save some strength for the following day’s race, which took part around the city of Jyvaskylaas.
The half-marathon was held outdoors (despite the event’s title of the ‘Indoor’ Masters) and, despite wall-to-wall sunshine, it was bitterly cold.
‘I’m sure the temperature affected many performances,’ said Kevin. ‘My hands were cracked and bleeding from the low temperature, even though I wore gloves.
‘I expected to be a bit quicker than I was, but I was happy to get under 80 minutes and dead chuffed to be the first member of our team of three home. It secured us third place and the bronze medal, which is fantastic.’
Fellow Northern AC member Rachael Tewksbury took part in the Maidenhead Easter 10-miler, one of the longest running road races in Berkshire.
She was third woman out of a total field of more than 800 with a time of 63min 21sec, knocking a little over three minutes off her previous best.