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Baird staggers to glory
2:00pm Friday 8th February 2013 in Local Sport
RUNNERS from the Midlands and beyond converged on Mary Stevens Park at the weekend to contest the Stourbridge Stagger.
The 10-mile multi-terrain race has developed into one of the most popular events of its type in the country and once again attracted the maximum field of 400 runners.
Conditions for the race were far from ideal, with heavy muddy sections hampering runners around the Hagley area in particular.
That didn’t prevent Halesowen ACs James Baird from making light of the conditions to prove a clear winner, completing the course in one hour two minutes.
Baird put his local knowledge to good use when finishing an impressive two minutes ahead of second place David Smith from Wolverhampton and Bilston who clocked 1.03.59 with third placed runner Peter Hawkins finishing in 1.04.52.
Sophie Ward from Birmingham Running and Triathlon Club won the ladies race in 1.13.24 beating team-mate Yasmin Chaudhri (1.14.34) with Linda Howell (1.15.31) of Bournville Harriers third.
There was also a women’s 7km race taking place at the same time where Jennie Spillane of Spa Striders led home a 55 strong field in 30.59, well clear of second placed Marie Voice from Kenilworth Runners in 33.11, while Barbara Cole was third in 35.11.
The event was organised by Stourbridge Running Club and spokesperson Sarah Woodward said: “It was another highly successful event and again well supported with runners coming from as far as Lincoln to take part.
“We never have any difficulty filling places for the event, but we are restricted to 400.
“Unfortunately, none of our own runners are able to take part as everyone is required to officiate. We must have had 80 people marshalling the race alone.
“There were huge crowds in and around the park supporting the runners, some of whom stayed for more than two hours to see the last runner home.”
The club meet at Stourbridge Cricket Club every Monday and Wednesday at 6.45pm.