RYDE Harriers and brothers, Will and Tom Newnham, made an outstanding start to a return to racing in the Essex Half Marathon.

Both young Isle of Wight runners finished in the top ten at the endurance event, staged at Debden Airfield, near Saffron Walden.

In almost perfect conditions, the brothers, who have trained hard and, whenever possible, set off together comfortably on the opening circuit of three.

Isle of Wight County Press: Will and Tom Newnham taking part in the recent Essex Half Marathon.Will and Tom Newnham taking part in the recent Essex Half Marathon.

With a target time to break of 1hr 12mins 30secs — which is fast running at 5mins 32secs for each of the 13.1 miles.

But after two circuits, they still running together and inside their target time.

When they were well into the third lap, younger brother, Tom, pushed on slightly to open up a small gap, with both moving swiftly as they approached the finish line.

From a quality field, Tom — a doctor at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport — was rewarded with fifth place, in a time of 1.11.10, with Will a place and only nine seconds further behind him.

They were beaten by winner and international, Adam Hickey, of Southend.

The tough target time was set as the championship entry standard for the 2022 London Marathon next April, which they were both very comfortably within.

As juniors and under-17s, both were exceptional athletes, with Tom representing England.

Their coach, Geoff Watkin, of Ryde, said: “After a lengthy break, it is wonderful to see them running so well as seniors.

“Tom has shown so much dedication to his training, while still undergoing very long shifts during this pandemic.

“Both now have the incentive to perform well in their first marathon in a year’s time.”