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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 13:39 UK
Man becomes first to win Swindon half marathon twice

Swindon Marathon in 60 seconds

The winner of this year's Swindon Half Marathon has become the first runner to win the race twice.

David Roper from The Big Adventure Store in Swindon crossed the line in 72:07, just 49 seconds over the course record.

He said: "I was just looking for a solid time and sub 72 would have been nice.

"But it was a good time so I'm well pleased with it actually."

The race, now in its seventh year, attracted a record number of people with nearly 2,000 runners signing up for the challenging 13.1 mile course.

It's ten times more difficult when you've got to run at your own pace and there's nobody else to push you
Half marathon winner David Roper

The race which winds up from the edges of Swindon to the Wiltshire Downs and back again, was led by winner David Roper from the start.

"I got in the lead and gave no chance for anybody to catch up," said David. "That was the plan.

"But it's ten times more difficult when you've got to run at your own pace and there's nobody else to push you."

Matt Ellis, running for the Westbury Harriers, finished second with a time of 73mins 47secs.

Speaking straight after the race, he said: "It's challenging especially with the wind in the direction it's going today.

"Especially the uphill. There's a very long uphill."

Former winner Gary O'Brien, running for the Swindon Harriers, came in a close third.

He agreed that the course was challenging.

He said: "Yes it was hard work - it's windy out there and I was on my own against the wind all the way so it was hard work battling that on your own."

Course Record

Meanwhile Westbury Harrier Emma D'Alton set a new course record in the women's event with a time of 80:04, just 26 seconds shy of her personal best.

She said: "I'm really happy to win it and I got the course record as well so I'm pretty happy about that.

"I've never done Swindon before. It's hilly. Don't let anyone tell you that it's not hilly because it is.

"That last couple of miles are a killer. I had to dig in. So yes, good race but challenging."

With record numbers signing up for the Swindon Half, race director Steve Connolly was pleased.

"We've had just short of 2,000 which is fantastic.

"So, yes it's been the best year ever."

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