Essar Chester Half Marathon - Sunday 21st May 2023

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21 May 2023 09:00

Essar Chester Half Marathon - Sunday 21st May 2023

Enter now
  • innospec

Inspirational Stories - Andrew the autistic runner by his Mum, Lesley.

Andrew has run the Essar Chester Half Marathon many times. He is a fast and competitive runner who has represented West Cheshire Athletics Club for the last 35 years. Andrew is also autistic. His success at running despite the difficulties his autism presents is a massive achievement and goes to show that with support from family, friends and colleagues, no disability should be a barrier to enjoying and excelling in sport. His Mum, Lesley, tells us his story.

"Andrew’s running started in his teens, when we realised on family jogs while on holiday that he was the fastest of us all (a brother, sister and we two parents).  On our return we enrolled him in CEPAC, now West Cheshire Athletic Club in Chester.


At the time autism was not widely recognised nor easily diagnosed, but it was evident to us from his very early years that he was autistic.  He was eventually diagnosed in 1995, aged 26.  In his case the symptoms include poor social skills and lack of empathy, so that he has little interaction with his peers.  The running however proved to be a godsend for him.  He enjoyed the competitive element without the need for mixing or communicating with others.

He is now in his 50s and still gets great satisfaction from running to the best of his ability.   For 35 years WCAC have been extremely supportive and understanding. They use him a great deal in club competitions, road races and cross-country, and their regular club runs provide some necessary structure in his weekly routine, as well of course keeping him fit. We are very grateful to other club members for providing transport to races, as he doesn’t drive.   

He lives alone and manages quite well but needs help with administration and paperwork.
Although physically strong his concentration is poor and he is unable to hold a permanent job, but to his credit he volunteers 4 days a week at the Cancer Research charity shop in Chester and one day at the VIVO care centre, Lightfoot Lodge, where he helps with the heavier work in their garden."

Race Record

Men

1:02:21
Vincent Boit in 2015

Women

1:14:32
Amanda Crook in 2013

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2022 Results.

Men
1st Omar Ahmed (Birchfield Harriers) 1:03:53
2nd Tom Merson (Exmouth Harriers) 1:07:46
3rd Peter Avent 1:08:23
Women
1st Alice Braham (Ealing Eagles Running Club) 1:18:08
2nd Sophie Birtles 1:18:22
3rd Sophie Delderfield (Vale of Aylesbury AC) 1:18:52
See all results