THE INAUGURAL Severn Bridge half marathon was a resounding success as 2,000 runners completed the run which got underway from its start point on the Severn Bridge.

This was the first time, since opening in 1966, that the bridge was closed to runners who took part in the run held on Sunday, August 24.

The half marathon wound its way through Thornbury and Elberton before heading back over the bridge and finishing in Chepstow.

First man home was Stephen Paterson of Les Croupiers Running Club, who completed the course in a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 26 seconds.

The first woman across the line was Kath Matthews of Chepstow Harriers with a time of 1:21:00, 2nd lady Emma Wookey was hard on her heels in a time of 1:21.13, and 3rd lady was Catherine Lee of Westbury in 1:23:00.

Cash prizes were awarded to the first five men and first five women, with the first man and first woman each receiving £150.

Race directors Paul Dodd and Andy Creber were pleased with how the event went, Andy said: “Paul and I have been planning this event for over a year, and it is very satisfying to hear so many positive comments.

“It is the first time we have organised an event on this scale. It has been stressful at times, but the ultimate reward is for us to hear such positive feedback.

“We are extremely grateful to all the runners that entered, many having raised hundreds for charity, and we are especially thankful to our many helpers, marshals and sponsors, without which the event simply could not take place. The support from Chepstow Harriers in particular has been overwhelming.”

Thousands was raised for the event’s two official charities, St. David’s Foundation and Barnardo’s, by runners, many of whom also ran in support of their chosen charity.