Boniface retains his crown at Barns Green

Barns Green Half Marathon 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140929-144222001

Barns Green Half Marathon 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140929-144222001

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Neil Boniface won the Barns Green Half Marathon for the second time in two years, and the third time in total, on Sunday (September 28)

The Horsham Joggers star was first across the finish line in just over 1 hour 12 minutes, ahead of Matt Bradford, Patrick Acaye, David Bradford and Rebecca Moore, the women’s winner.

Boniface said: “It was a bit warm - awful conditions, especially because it has been quite cold and most people have been training in the cold weather. I had enough by mile 11!”

The defending champion celebrated with the crowd as he approached the finish line.

He said: “There were a lot of people coming out, so I thought I would say hi. It gets bigger and bigger every year.”

Targeting a fourth win at Barns Green, Boniface admitted he has ‘got to come back next year’.

Moore, a university student from Worthing, produced a fine performance to earn the women’s title. She said she enjoyed getting the better of all but four male runners.

She said: “ It was quite funny - when they see a girl overtake, they speed up for a bit!

“ I’m shattered but ecstatic. I came home especially, so it was really worth it.

“We are so lucky with the weather, and it was great to hear so many people on the course.”

Other athletes dressed up for the occasion - such as Gareth Rees, of Horsham Amphibians Triathlon, who ran dressed as Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

Gareth said: “There were lots of ‘use the force’ and ‘may the force be with you’ - it gave me a lift.”

Further reports, pictures and eight-pages of results and times in this week’s paper.