Course record smashed as 400 runners conquer Baldock Beast half marathon – including Ainsley Charles fundraisers

PUBLISHED: 09:29 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28 28 February 2017

Ainsley Charles' uncle Paul, mum Jo and sister Imogen at the Baldock Beast, along with his friends Tom Herring, Sam Booth, James Mayes, Chris Amoss and Ed Moyes, who ran the half-marathon in retro Arsenal shirts. Photo: Courtesy of Jo Charles

Ainsley Charles' uncle Paul, mum Jo and sister Imogen at the Baldock Beast, along with his friends Tom Herring, Sam Booth, James Mayes, Chris Amoss and Ed Moyes, who ran the half-marathon in retro Arsenal shirts. Photo: Courtesy of Jo Charles

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Some 400 runners conquered the formidable Baldock Beast half marathon on Sunday – including a group fundraising in honour of a lost relative and friend.

Jo and Imogen Charles run the Baldock Beast in memory of their son and brother Ainsley Charles. Photo: Courtesy of Jo Charles Jo and Imogen Charles run the Baldock Beast in memory of their son and brother Ainsley Charles. Photo: Courtesy of Jo Charles

Sandon’s Ainsley Charles, who tragically died aged 21 five years ago, inspired his mum Jo, sister Imogen and uncle Paul to all cover the 13.1-mile distance – along with five friends wearing retro Arsenal shirts in memory of the devoted Gunners fan.

Jo, 52, and 25-year-old Imogen are fundraising for the mental health charity Mind by running five half marathons – one for each year since former Knights Templar pupil Ainsley’s death – and their total including Gift Aid has now passed £2,000, which Jo called ‘amazing’.

The family’s remaining four half marathons will be in Southampton on April 23, Sunderland on May 7, St Albans on June 11 and Newcastle for the Great North Run on September 10.

The Baldock Beast course record was smashed by Luton Athletics Club’s Ian Kimpton – seen leading the way in Laurence Browne’s video above – who posted a remarkable 1hr 7min 36secs time, five minutes faster than the previous best.

And organiser Richard Sell said they were very pleased with the turnout from both runners and supporters, as well as the invaluable contributions of the race volunteers.

He said: “In all 400 runners took on the challenging course, and afterwards provided very positive feedback about the event.

“In particular they praised the 50-plus volunteers who help to make it such an enjoyable and community-based event, as do the many residents of Baldock, Wallington, Sandon and Redhill who come out in their hundreds to cheer on the runners.”

Edward Price of North Herts Road Runners finished second, with Michael Sheppard of Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets Athletics Club coming third.

Kate Harbon of the North Herts Road Runners was the fastest female runner, followed by Angharad Smith of London City Athletics Club and Oli Lacigova of Team Trident.

North Herts Road Runners were named both male and female team winners.

Richard added that the organisers would like to thank sponsors Amber Health, DB Sharp & Sons, Floyd Automatic, Gallery 1066, Kindlelight and Tesco for their support.

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