Jared Hagos overcame illness to defend his title after winning the Watford Half-Marathon. 

The Newcastle-based athlete was a doubt for the event in Cassiobury Park after suffering from a stomach upset but Hagos battled through this to claim victory in a time of 1.06.29.

The Ethiopian’s performance was even more impressive considering he knocked 31 seconds off his run from 12 months ago.

Paul Martelletti was second, clocking 1.07.13, with Kevin Seaward third in a time of 1.07.20.

Nicola Duncan stormed to victory in the women’s race as she clocked 1.14.46 for one of the fastest times by a female ever at the event.

Tish Jones put up a strong title defence as she came second with a time of 1.15.12.
Race organiser Richard Parles said: “It went really well. The weather on the day was nice but it was awful in the run up to it.

“We spent a lot of money on clearing up the course but there were a couple of extremely large puddles.

“We tried very hard and the people just accepted it. I don’t even think the fastest runners noticed the water.

“Jared was doubtful on Saturday when I spoke to him but he managed to run and put in a really good time.”

Meanwhile, there were more than 100 competitors in each junior race.

Cassiobury Junior School’s Mark Harwood set a new record in the Under-8 Boys 1.2k with a time of 5.10 while Royal Masonic’s Grace Ingles clocked a new Under-12 Girls 2.4k record of 9.36. Both of them are Watford Harriers members.

Caitlyn Reed was fastest in the Under-8’s 1.2k race in 5.47. Thomas Hobbs won the Under-10 2.5k in a time of 10.08 while Orla Murray was first girl home in 11.46. In the Under-12’s 2.5k, Judah Yawitoi finished first in 9.40.

Noah Sugarmann won the Under-14 2.5k in a time of 9.12 while Rickmansworth’s Hannah Trotman was quickest in the girls event, clocking 10.12.

St Michael’s Byron Johal posted a time of 8.56 to win the Over-14’s 2.5k.

Nascot Wood won the Junior School competition while Cassiobury were the Infant School winners of the Schools Challenge Trophy.

Watford Joggers sent 31 runners to the Watford Half-Marathon and came away with four personal bests on the challenging, hilly course.

Robin Tremaine led the way home for the members with a time of 1.29.12.

Panos Fellas earned a personal best with a time of 1.49.16 while Natalie Smith (1.57.04) and Sue Defoe (2.09.53) also produced personal best runs.

James Gamble was the fifth Watford Jogger home as he clocked a personal best of 1.36.52.