Ironman Arkell enjoys Festive Half Marathon success

Rob Arkell leads the charge at the start of the half marathon
Rob Arkell leads the charge at the start of the half marathon
Pearson Atkinson and Tanisha Gray. Stokes Bay junior parkrun takes place on Sundays. Picture: Neil Marshall (171348-30)

Great fun at Stokes Bay junior parkrun

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It has certainly been a memorable year for Rob Arkell.

The athlete, who is a member of Stubbington Green Runners and David Lloyd Port Solent Tri Club, realised his triathlon dream in October.

He completed the Ironman World Championship – the epic event in Hawaii.

On Sunday, Arkell, from Fareham, was back on home ground to win the Festive Half Marathon in Portsmouth with a time of 1hr 19min 58sec.

Patrick Stephenson, from Denmead Striders, finished second in 1.20.35 and Portsmouth University runner Alex Hurrell was third in 1.24.48.

Totton’s Esther Wiley was first lady with a 1.35.40 clocking.

Left to right: Patrick Stephenson, Rob Arkell and Alex Hurrell.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (151754-126)

Left to right: Patrick Stephenson, Rob Arkell and Alex Hurrell. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151754-126)

The times were good in difficult conditions with mud, wind and rain to deal with.

For Arkell it was certainly a lot different from the scorching heat of Kona.

He was excited to get the win in the event hosted by Believe & Achieve to raise funds for the RNLI lifeboat station.

Arkell said: ‘It’s freezing in comparison to Kona.

Esther Wiley

Esther Wiley

‘Patrick, who finished second, did the first mile in something like 5.20. We sprinted off like it was a parkrun 5k.

‘I have got the endurance and lately I’ve been doing a lot more speed work.

‘Luckily that has paid off a bit. I felt pretty comfortable.

‘It’s nice to see your name at the top. It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

‘Hopefully the event will raise a lot of money as well.’

In Hawaii, Arkell completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in 9.48 to finish 45th in the male 30-34 category and 211th overall.

He added: ‘Kona was amazing. Conditions are brutal with the heat, humidity and cross winds.

‘The heat radiates off the floor. There is no shade and there is nowhere to hide.

‘They said the floor temperature was 49 degrees and the air temperature was high 30s.

‘It certainly felt pretty damn hot.’

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