SOUTHEND AC’s Paul Whittaker won the Southend Half-Marathon in sweltering conditions – an event overshadowed by the death of a runner on the finish line.

Whittaker completed the 13.1 miles, which started and finished on Shoebury’s East Beach, in 71m 19s.

Scott Sterling, who heads up Southend West’s Schools Sport Partnership, was the next man home, finishing his debut over the distance in 72m 12s.

Springfield Strider's Scott Cousins was third (77m 16s), one place ahead of Leigh on Sea Striders’ Neil Spicer who was fourth in 78m 4s.

The women’s race was won by Colchester Harriers’ Sarah Stradling in 81m 35s. Chelmsford AC's Megan Williams was second (86m 10s) and Springfield Striders' Nikki Brockbank third (86m 55s).

In total, 2,133 runners finished the event.

For more on the tragic death of the half-marathon runner, see Monday's Echo. There will also be a picture spread from the event in Monday's paper.

For a further report and results from the race, see Friday's Echo Athletics.

Southend Standard:

Scott Sterling was second

Southend Standard:

Scott Cousins finished third

Southend Standard:

An exhausted Neil Spicer at the finish line

Southend Standard:

Sarah Stradling won the women's race

Southend Standard:

Megan Evans finishing as the second woman

Southend Standard:

Nikki Brockbank was the third woman