Roberttown runners finish in Munich’s Olympic Stadium

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Roberttown Road Runners travelled to Munich in Southern Germany to take part in the 26th Marathon festival.

The festival included a marathon relay, half marathon and 10K road races.

The Road Runners, who meet at Roberttown Community Centre each Wednesday from 6.15pm, have taken a trip abroad to participate in races for several years. They include family and friends to make it a worthwhile trip.

A highlight for the athletes was to finish in the 1972 Olympic Stadium, the venue for the England football team’s 5-1 victory over Germany in 2001.

The relay team, known as The Beauties and the Beast, were Carol Britton, Shirley Ramm, and Sue Hamilton along with Mike Hamilton. They turned in a great relay marathon performance, finishing in four hours 37 minutes 50 seconds relay marathon.

Kath Knott (67 minutes 15 seconds) and Jean Childe (83 minutes 24 seconds) competed in the 10K race.

In the half marathon race former club member Paul Burridge turned in a personal best time of one hour 35 minutes 19 seconds. Daniel Mortimer returned the club’s best time of one hour 41 minutes 45 seconds while others to complete the half marathon were Michael Childe, Dave Miles, Malcolm Firth, Pete Knott, Paul Harvey, Janet Cooke, Andrea Stocks and Christopher Buchan.

For Malcolm Firth it was a return to the Munich Olympic Stadium. He visited it 40 years ago when he was living and working in Hamburg as a 21-year-old volunteer. He couldn’t get into the stadium then but absorbed the atmosphere and even slept in the open.

It was very different for Malcolm this time: “When I completed the half marathon and walked around the stadium to meet up with the rest of my club members — I was that athlete — and burst into tears of emotional joy.”

The club plan to attend the Olympic Games in London next year and commented: “If our Olympic Stadium is as good as this then we will have done well as the design has stood the test of time.”

Supporting the runners were Diane Firth, Mandy Burridge, Joanne Harvey and Graham Ramm.

The club are already planning next year’s race abroad and are looking at events in Portugal or Italy.