Duff in the driving seat for Runners at Silverstone

LEESA Duff led the way for Royston Runners as club members warmed up for the London Marathon by competing in the Silverstone half-marathon on Sunday. Former Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell returned to Silverstone to drop the famous chequered flag to start

LEESA Duff led the way for Royston Runners as club members warmed up for the London Marathon by competing in the Silverstone half-marathon on Sunday.

Former Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell returned to Silverstone to drop the famous chequered flag to start the event, which took place on the F1 circuit.

He then joined the field of more than 6,000 runners, accompanied by his sons Greg and Joe.

What can only be described as a race of "four seasons" - weather conditions including gale force winds, driving sleet and snow and glorious sunshine - proved a true test.


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Duff was the first Royston member home in 97 minutes 33 seconds, followed by Karl Howard in 102.43, Paul Haynes in 114.15 and Chris Lennon 124.45.

They were all quicker than Mansall, who took nearly three hours to complete the course.

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Lennon admitted that it had been a tough test for the runners.

"Weather-wise, we had everything - sun, rain, ridiculously high winds, and hail storms," he said.

"But despite the tricky conditions, I thought it was an excellent race."

Royston Runners were also part of the team helping with the organisation of what is probably the second biggest half marathon after the Great North Run.

They were responsible for handing out goody bags to the runners who crossed the finish line.

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