Rush hour across London's Square Mile was an altogether different sight last week as the City's closed-off streets welcomed over 5,000 runners from over 350 companies for the annual Standard Chartered Great City Race on Thursday 11 July. And the competitive race was once again a family affair.
In the individual men's category, Phil Wicks from Legal & General scooped his sixth win in seven years in a blistering time of 14 minutes 45 seconds, with Huw Lobb from DMW Group second and Simon Coombes from Islington Council third.
In the individual female category, Phil's wife Emily from Punter Southall took the honours, for the fifth consecutive time, in a time of 16 minutes 55 seconds. Katy Webster from Ofcom came second and Lara Bromilow from HSBC Bank came third.
Speaking after the race, Phil Wicks, said: "The weather was perfect today. It was incredible out there and I'm so pleased that Emily won the women's race. It's fun to blast around and soak up the great atmosphere."
The 5k race helped to raise significant funds and awareness for Seeing is Believing, a global initiative that tackles avoidable blindness and the official race beneficiary. With £10 from every entry going to this charitable initiative each person who registered to run provided enough funds to cover the cost of a trichiasis operation. In addition to this, the race registrations collectively raised £40,000 which could provide enough medication to help tackle trachoma in the Kasempa District of Zambia - protecting a population of 73,740 people.
A group of celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment showed their support for Seeing is Believing by taking on the challenge of running the race blindfolded. The team included England cricket legend Mike Gatting OBE, TV presenter Chris Hollins, Harlequins RFC player Nick Evans and 5-times Paralympic running gold medallist Noel Thatcher MBE.
Richard Holmes, CEO Europe at Standard Chartered Bank, ran alongside celebrities and said: "I would like to thank everyone involved for helping to make this event such a memorable and enjoyable occasion. The spirit among all the runners and support was fantastic. This year's race has raised more money for Seeing is Believing than any previous race thanks to the huge appetite across the City to take part in the event. The funds raised will make an enormous difference to the lives of thousands of people and will go a long way to helping us achieve our target of raising US$100m for the initiative by 2020."