Jess is no Straggler in Arizona

Surrey Comet: Stretched resources: Stragglers’ Jessica Draskau-Petersson warms-up ahead of a training session at St Mary’s University in 2012  	Deadlinepix SP68003 Stretched resources: Stragglers’ Jessica Draskau-Petersson warms-up ahead of a training session at St Mary’s University in 2012 Deadlinepix SP68003

Stragglers Running Club’s Jessica Draskau-Petersson admitted pocketing more than £900 in prize money was all the motivation she needed to win PF Chang’s Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona half marathon on Sunday.

The 36-year-old London 2012 Olympian, a late entry for the race, collected $500 for being the first female finisher and a further $1,000 for dipping under the 75-minute mark.

“This sounds really awful, but we’re trying to pay the bills,” she said.

“So you’re more interested in being under the 75 mark.

“If I felt really confident or cocky, I guess I could have backed off and been lazy in the last mile.

“But because of that time bonus I was working all the way to the line so that keeps you honest too.”

Kingston-based Draskau-Petersson, a former Great Britain duathlete, competed for Denmark in the women’s marathon at the London Olympics, where she finished 40th.

It was only the second time she had competed over the distance since suffering a knee injury in 2007.

The Richmond Park and Bushy Park parkrun regular trains in Teddington, and is coached by Isleworth-based Neil Stoddart.

Meanwhile, Stragglers and Sittingbourne Striders star Anthony Jackson beat a field of more than 1,000 athletes at Saturday’s Bushy Park parkrun.

Surrey Comet:

Striding it out: Stragglers Running Club’s Anthony Jackson made light of Saturday’s conditions to streak away ahead of the rest of the 1,023-strong field at the start of the Bushy Park parkrun                             SP82435

The 27-year-old clocked 16 minutes 31 seconds to claim his third win of 2014 and his 11th triumph in his last 14 appearances.

Jackson finished 18 seconds ahead of second-placed Andrius Jaksevicius, whose one race win in 52 Bushy Park parkrun appearances came in rival Jackson’s absence on December 28.

Michelle Richards clocked 20:41 to be the first woman home, beating Tracey Hardcastle by three seconds.

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