RUNNER Eddie O'Gorman reclaimed his title this year at the 21st Marlow Half Marathon storming into first place with a time of one hour, 14 minutes and 12 seconds.

O'Gorman effortlessly took the lead and after becoming second last year and first in 2008 he was happy to take back his number one spot.

Samantha Amend came in first for the ladies with a time of 1.23.46 although she was woken up throughout the previous night by her two-year-old son, so she did not beat last year's time of 1.23.17 when she was also first.

More than 1300 competitors took part today on a beautiful autumnalmorning starting and finishing at the Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School and running the gruelling 13.1 miles which is organised by the Marlow Striders.

Mr O'Gorman, 37, from Princes Risborough who runs with Chiltern Harriers said: “I was trying to win. I am happy with the time. I was second last year and the year before I won it.

“I was trying to get my title back this year. This is my quickest time on this course. I was on my own out there so there was not much to push me along. If you are in a race you tend to go a bit faster.”

The personal trainer, who runs Bucks Fitness, won the Wycombe Half Marathon earlier in the year and said the Marlow course is very tough.

The next man, Laurence Miles, came in at 1.19.23 and Kingsley Nanton clocked 1.20.28.

Samantha Amend, 31, from Marlow Bottom was expected to beat the women's course record of 1.23.02 set in 2004 but she said the pressure got to her.

Ms Amend who is single mum of Emily, seven, and Spencer, two, said: “Last year the weather was really bad and I did it in a better time. I don't think my preparation was great- I had my son up all night.”

She has been doing a lot of endurance training and not speed work as she came back from running the Amsterdam Marathon a few weeks ago.

The Belgrave Harriers runner added: “I ran it last week for preparation and I realised how bad it was. It was one of the hardest. I find it harder than running a marathon. With a half marathon I find I have to go a bit quicker. That last hill was a killer.

“I think it is the pressure. They kept on mentioning the course record about five times.”

Katie Rennie came second with 1.27.43m and Mg Spatton was third with 1.29.51.

Race Director Rod Woodland said the money raised will go towards St John's Ambulance and Marlow Sports Club.

He said: “What makes the event are the marshals because of the enthusiasm the runners take from them.”

The Marlow Guides took charge of the water stations as part of their service in the community badge. A lot of charities from the area were involved and Mr Woodland said the event pays St John's Ambulance to be there and also pays the school.

He thanked the residents for all their support and patience during the half marathon.

The course record for the men was in 1993 with 1.08.30. The course has been running since 1989 and organised by the Marlow Striders since 1993.

See the new Marlow Free Press Midweek out on Tuesday for photos and results