Hero Cooray makes history with course record in Oxford victory

Number 1: Anarudha Cooray
Number 1: Anarudha Cooray

Aylesbury sporting royalty Anuradha Cooray was back on top form on Sunday when he won the Oxford Half Marathon and set a new course record in the process.

The double Olympian set a phenomenal time of 66mins 50secs and beat 5,500 other runners.

The 13-mile race started at the Kassam Stadium in abysmal conditions and continued around Oxford City Centre.

Thousands of loyal supporters braved the elements to cheer the runners on and they were treated to a piece of history as Cooray, who competes for Vale of Aylesbury Athletics Club, ran the perfect race.

The Sri Lankan star’s coach Nick Taylor said the Greggs bakery worker is in ‘superb shape and training well’.

“To run the time he did in such wet and windy conditions was a feat and he was more than two minutes ahead of Tim Don in second place.

“Anuradha is now in his 30’s and I think he is possibly in better shape than ever before.”

Cooray, who lives in Wycombe and runs the 16 miles to and from work at Greggs in Aylesbury as part of his daily training regime, has confirmed he wants to make it an Olympic hat-trick by competing in Brazil at the Rio 2016 Games.

There is no rest for the Vale of Aylesbury star, though, as he is now looking forward to the Cabbage Patch 10 this weekend, a fast 10-mile course in Twickenham, followed by the Stroud Half Marathon in a few weeks’ time.

Other Vale successes on the road at the weekend were Rob Taylor, who won the Buckingham 10k for the third year in a row declaring himself a ‘very happy man’.

Again the weather conditions were atrocious meaning that Rob’s time of 37:01 was a minute slower than last year on the challenging course which takes in some of the Stowe Gardens.

Sean Wilson ran in the Peterborough Half Marathon where the top three places went to Kenyan athletes.

Sean was delighted with his run finishing 61st from 1,500 athletes in a time of 77.54 – a new PB by almost three minutes.