Briton and Moroccan win top prizes in Elche International Half Marathon

British runner Ben Connor strides across the finish line at Elche Half Marathon with an incredible time of just one hour and five minutes. Photo credit: Ajuntament d’Elx

ONE BRITISH runner sprinted to success at Elche’s Half Marathon on Sunday, March 12. Ben Connor took home first place in the 21 kilometre race with an impressive time of just 1:05:09. Meanwhile, the Moroccan athlete, Hilali Siham, emerged as the winner of the women’s general classification with an incredible time of 1:17:27.

The 50th anniversary edition of the event, boasted 3,200 participants from 30 countries as well as participants from 95 per cent of the regions in Spain. The race is the oldest of its kind in the world, having started in 1968.

However, the golden edition of the marathon was marred by the tragic death of a 21-year-old participant who collapsed after crossing the finish line. Despite receiving immediate medical attention, the young runner sadly passed away in hospital. Elche City Council issued a statement expressing its condolences to the bereaved family.

The race was described as “extraordinarily tough” by Elche City Mayor, Carlos González, who participated in the event himself. He explained that the extreme weather conditions, including high temperatures and strong winds, had made it difficult for both elite and amateur runners to perform.