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City of Norwich Half Marathon: can you see yourself on our video?

PUBLISHED: 14:37 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:43 08 April 2019

Piers Arnold, centre, takes first place in the City of Norwich Half Marathon, with Dominic Blake, left, second, and Matt Spencer third Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Piers Arnold, centre, takes first place in the City of Norwich Half Marathon, with Dominic Blake, left, second, and Matt Spencer third Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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City of Norwich runners took the big prizes in the rain-soaked 34th running of the City of Norwich Half Marathon.

Piers Arnold wins the City of Norwich Half Marathon Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPiers Arnold wins the City of Norwich Half Marathon Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Piers Arnold won the men’s race in a personal best time of 1:07:41, almost five minutes clear of Reepham Road Runners’ Dominic Blake (1:12:53) with Bungay Black Dog Running Club’s Matt Spencer in third (1:14:30).

Mabel Beckett retained the women’s crown, finishing in 1:20:11, ahead of Waveney Valley’s Sam Lines (1:21:30) and Taunton visitor Kate Drew.

Runners preparing for a dry race were disappointed – as 1,727 of them lined up at the start at the Norfolk Showground, the misty conditions gave way to rain which worsened as the race went on – but began to clear just as the first runners headed for home.

It mattered little to Arnold, who won the race two years ago but missed out last year because it was so close to the London Marathon.

Mabel Beckett, winner of the women's City of Norwich Half Marathon Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMabel Beckett, winner of the women's City of Norwich Half Marathon Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

This time, with the capital event three weeks away, it proved a perfect warm-up as Arnold led the entire way and won by a country mile.

“It was easier than I thought it would be,” said Arnold, whose time beat his previous best of 1:10:14 set at the same event three years ago.

“I have got London in three weeks so I was planning on going off a bit slower. After the first mile it felt really smooth so I just kind of kept going with it.

“I know a lot of the other guys and they are all going through their own things – a lot of people were focusing on getting a good last session before London.

Dominic Blake leaps for joy after coming second in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDominic Blake leaps for joy after coming second in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I am really pleased with my time, I didn’t expect it. I probably went out a bit faster than I maybe should have because it felt good. I haven’t PB-ed in so long it felt it would maybe be a bit of a waste not to go for it.”

Beckett’s time was also a personal best – although she was outside of her target.

“The target in my head was to get under 80 minutes and it was 80;11, but it is a massive, massive PB, by about a minute and a half so I am really, really happy. It was chucking it down all the way until the last mile when the sun came out.”

“It has been a good day,” said race director Hugh McGill.

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“The race went smoothly, no problems and we are very pleased.

The number of starters was around 100 down on usual, with a total entry list of around 2,500.

The City of Norwich Half Marathon medals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe City of Norwich Half Marathon medals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Reflections of runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYReflections of runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Spectators cheer on runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSpectators cheer on runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Spectators cheer on runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSpectators cheer on runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRunners in the City of Norwich Half Marathon in the rain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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