A COUPLE who have been together for four years were triumphant at this year's Lexicon Bracknell Half Marathon.

Alex Miller, 36, and Samantha Amend, 37, a couple from Marlow, were the frontrunners for the 2017 race.

Hundreds of runners met at South Hill Park Arts Centre on Sunday, May 7 for the centrepiece event, with a number of people raising money for charity.

The race was compered by Councillor Tony Virgo, mayor of Bracknell, with the first runner crossing the line in 1 hour and 13 minutes.

After winning the half marathon three years ago, the male winner Alex said: "It has been excellent to regain the title and even better for Sam to finish first in the women’s race.

"It is not the flattest of courses, but the chilly conditions have been ideal for running. It is a fabulous and well-organised race to be a part of.

"I was rather hoping to make the podium after winning the half marathon in 2014. I have only done this event twice and won both times, which is pretty special.

"You have got to put the effort in. If you want to achieve something in life you have to put in the hard work. The average week for me involves running 80 miles. If you love something you have got to be willing to commit the hours.

"It has been a good day at the office. I never listen to music. On an open course like this with all of the wonderful scenery you shouldn’t need music.

"Yes your lungs hurt and your legs might be tired, but you just have to focus on reaching the finish line."

It was a special day for the Marlow couple, with Alex's partner Samantha storming her way around the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Samantha was the fastest female on the day and has a long and successful record at the Bracknell Half Marathon.

However, she explained how there were no guarantees of a podium finish after recovering from glandular fever.

"This is one of my quickest times on here," she added. "I have lost count of how many times I have ran in this race. I didn’t last year because I had just finished a 100 mile race the week before.

"I won 2013 and 2014. I have been recovering from glandular fever, so I was not taking anything for granted today. This is a tough course because you have got a few slopes, but the conditions have been pretty much ideal today.

"The wind didn’t bother me because it has helped me keep my temperature down.

"The reason we always come back to this race is because it is always so well organised and so professional and the race director messaged me a few weeks ago to make sure I was going to be able to take part.

"I can’t fault this race. If anything there are too many water stops, but I will never complain because it is nicer for the people who are further back who need the encouragement.

"I am normally on my own when I run so there is not a lot to think about, but some of the climbs that were hard in previous years when we had the sun didn’t bother me today. There are a lot of underpasses, but I really enjoyed all of the woodland at the five-mile mark.

"I just get it over and done with and I keep telling myself that I have run more than 13 miles before so I know I can do it.

"We have been together about four years. We’ve known each other a lot longer than that. Alex used to run for Datchet Dashers and then I poached him because we needed a good men’s team.

"We do win quite a few races and we have been together on the podium here before. It is not an easy course, because it is a bit of a concrete jungle, but the support is incredible.

"The wonderful thing about Bracknell is there is always forest area around you and I love running in those conditions.

"A lot of children come out for the race and it is a real family event. We have had heavy rain and sunshine in previous years but the chilly weather today has been perfect."