Twins peak as brothers Dan and Glen bag a gold and silver at City of Norwich Half Marathon
08:45 24 November 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
Twins Dan and Glen Watts turned the 30th City of Norwich Half Marathon into a brotherly battle for bragging rights.
A field of 2,235 soldiered on through the cold and wet during a race that quickly turned into a family affair at the front. The 27-year-olds, who hail from March in Cambridgeshire, broke away from the pack impressively along with Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers’ club-mate Kojo Kyereme long before the halfway point.
After 6.55 miles the trio had opened up a near 20-second lead on four-time winner Adrian Mussett but that gap only increased as the Watts turned the fight for glory into a two-way battle. Dan pulled clear with about four to go and that’s how it remained as he completed the 13.1-mile race in a time of one hour, eight minutes and eight seconds – 14 seconds ahead of his sibling.
The winning Richmond-based athlete, taking on his first Norwich Half, said: “I’m very pleased. It wasn’t really that cold once you got going but it was quite a tough course and there were lots of puddles to avoid.
“We were hitting quite good pace actually. I was trying to get 68 minutes and we were nearly there. Glen and I are really competive but it got a bit cagey as the guy in fourth was catching us. He was coming so I thought I had to push it on a bit and I got ahead.
“When we were growing up I used to beat Glen but recently he’s been beating me so it’s nice to finally beat him again. He’ll be disappointed, but he’ll be happy we’ve got first and second at least. I’ll definitely give him a bit of stick though.”
Glen and Kyereme, 36 seconds further back, completed a Shaftesbury podium with Mussett finishing the course in 1.09.14. The first home (City of Norwich Athletic Club) runner across the line was Matthew Bidwell (1.10.31) in fifth.
“The conditions made it tough, especially the second lap. We were taking it in turns to share the wind a bit,” said the runner-up.
“Kojo runs for the same club as us and put a couple of efforts in around half-way and we (Dan and I) covered him. And then Kojo and I found it tough when we got to about nine miles and I think Dan sensed it and put his foot down and we couldn’t really catch him up.
“I am definitely disappointed. I never gave up. I could see Dan was slowing down when we were going around the (Norfolk) Showground but he just had enough to keep ahead. But I’ve got to be happy with a brother one-two. We’re used to it. We ran here for English Schools in cross country and he came first and I finished 22nd. So first and second is not too bad.”
The fight for ladies’ supremacy was a straight head-to-head between reigning and back-to-back champion Daisy Glover and four-time title-winner Sarah Stradling. The Colchester Harriers legend missed last year’s race through injury but made up for it as she gained revenge for Glover pipping her to the 2012 crown.
The 39-year-old came out on the right side of a thrilling sprint finish to bag a fifth Norwich Half gold and become the event’s most successful athlete of all time.
Stradling, whose last triumph came in 2011, said: “Daisy made me work for it. But we both kind of used each other a bit as we were both here trying to do the same thing (win it). This is the first time I’ve seen Daisy since she beat me a couple of years ago because I’ve not been around much. I always love to see other runners do well and we both put in as much effort as each other. It was just yesterday was my day, like two years ago was Daisy’s day.”
Stradling (1.20.21) came 21st overall, just one second in front of Glover.