Carver Wolverhampton Half Marathon Events 2019: City celebrations at finish - PICTURES and VIDEO
Hundreds of runners and cyclists of all ages turned out at West Park to take part in the Carver Wolverhampton Half Marathon Events.
The sun shone on entrants who gathered at the starting line on Connaught Road for the first events of the day, the Berriman Eaton 20k and 10k cycle and wheelchair race.
Among the cyclists was Steve Guy who took part in the race in memory of his son Joe.
Joe was training to be a professional time trial rider when he was tragically killed in a road accident in 2017 at the age of 16.
WATCH: And they're off!
Video: Tim Thursfield
Steve had competed in the event with Joe since he was 10 years old and he returned to the bike race again this year to pay tribute.
Mayor of Wolverhampton councillor Claire Darke and Henry Carver wished participants well as they waited eagerly for the race to get underway.
Proud friends and family members stood at the sidelines and eagerly counted the cyclists down as the races began.
GALLERY: Highlights from the day
Award winning cake maker, Paz Heer's two year old son, Aaryan, swooped across the finish line dressed as Batman.
This was the second year that the pair have taken part in the bike ride.
Paz, from Wolverhampton, said: "He loves being able to sit on the front and see all the other bikes. He even fell asleep half way around.
"As soon as we crossed the finish line he said 'that was fun daddy'."
Last year Aaryan was dressed as Robin, but this year he came to the race as Batman.
His dad said he loves Spiderman at the moment so that may well be next years costume.
Paz hopes to continue taking part for the foreseeable future.
He added: "I want him to look back and be inspired to do something positive for charity, even if it is just once a year."
Despite a few stops along the way the father and son duo finished in one hour and 20 minutes.
Alongside the half-marathon, there was also a relay for teams of four or over, a 10k and a children’s mini marathon.
The crowd of excited children stormed across the starting line as the klaxon sounded while their parents cheered them along the course.
The event has adapted over the years to meet changing demand, with the marathon distance being dropped last year due to falling numbers but an additional race, the Paycare half-marathon relay, introduced for 2019.
Starting near West Park, the longer routes take competitors through the northern suburbs of Wolverhampton as part of a circular route. Supporters lined sections of the course, especially at the West Park finishing line.
- On Thursday we will be carrying the full results from this year's Half Marathon
Jack Pickett, from Shrewsbury was first in the half-marathon with a time of one hour and 11 minutes. The first woman to complete the 13.1 miles course was Claire Hotchkiss in one hour and 33 minutes.
Dudley and Stourbridge Harrier Rob Meredith secured first place in the 10k race in 34 minutes. Lucy Calrow was the first woman home in 40 minutes.
The first man to finish the 20k cycle race was Dylan Jones from Wolverhampton and first woman was Eden Crane from Codsall.
Friends take on charity challenge
Challenging themselves in the half marathon were Lynn Emery and Sue Reid who were running for The UK Sepsis Trust.
Sue's step daughter is a survivor of Sepsis and asked the pair if they would take part in the half marathon to raise awareness.
Sue, aged 56 from Stourbridge, said: "We just received a very emotional text message from her this morning saying how happy she is that she is still her to see us take part.
"It's great to be a part of the half marathon today and raise money and awareness for the cause."
Although Sue has taken part in a marathon in the past, the half marathon was Lynn's biggest challenge yet.
Lynn, aged 29 from Aldridge, said: "The longest run I've ever taken part in was a 10k, so this will be a new personal best for me."
The ladies have been training hard for the past 11 weeks and have already raised £600 for the charity.
From Germany to Wolverhampton
Rainer and Kerstin Henkel travelled all the way from Effen in Germany to take part in the events.
Rainer studied Modern Foreign Languages at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1985 and now works as a sports journalist.
He hadn't returned back to the city in over 30 years and wanted to bring his wife who had never been for a short holiday.
Rainer said: "She thinks it's a beautiful place especially all the canals and parks. Everyone we've met is so nice and friendly.
"We will definitely be back. This time we won't wait another 30 years!"
The couple are both keen runners and decided to take part in the race for fun as it coincided with their plans for a weekend break to Wolverhampton.
Rainer completed to 10k in 56 minutes and Kerstin completed the half marathon in one hour and 45 minutes.
They hope to come back and compete again next year.
Cheers for children's charity runner
Ian Dixon was among runners taking part in the half marathon to represent the UK's first sensory animal therapy centre for autistic children.
Ian, the Director of HugglePets CIC, was taking part in the race to spread the word about the brand new facility in Cooper Street, Wolverhampton.
The team have raised over £96,000 to build a community aquarium and sensory play classroom to help children with autism, mental health issues and sensory disabilities.
Ian said: "We're the first of our kind in the country, we want to run animal therapy sessions for youngsters.
"We hope to help children and their families in our community as well as those all the way from Stoke on Trent to the East Midlands."
HugglePets received a total of £96,699 from 72 backers including local businesses.
As well as the new centre, there is also an onsite pet shop and pet groomers.
All profits made from the grooming business are reinvested into the community to help support future projects.
Father running in daughter's memory
A seasoned marathon runner has taken part in the half marathon in memory of his daughter.
Pete Teale, aged 58, lost his daughter Zoe at the age of 23 when she suddenly died in her sleep from sudden adult death syndrome.
She was healthy and worked as a fitness instructor, she had no family history of cardiac problems and showed no symptoms of any illness.
Since then Pete, who lives in Stourbridge, has been raising awareness for SADS and has managed to raise over £80,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
The money he has raised has paid for countless young people to have ECG screenings to detect signs early.
Pete said: "The money that I've raised has gone on to save at least 20 young people's lives.
"I'm here today to continue raising awareness of sudden adult death syndrome."
This is not the first race he has completed in Zoe's memory, in the past, he has completed the London Marathon twice as well as numerous half marathons.
Pete hopes to continue raising awareness of the illness as well as funds for the charity.
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