There is no way of avoiding the yeti in the room. The mammoth event of the weekend in the runABC South region is the fifth annual Cancer Research UK London Winter Run. Liverpool and England football legend Emile Heskey is the star celebrity signing who will lead off a capacity 23,000 runners for an icy tour of the capital on Sunday (3 February).
Emile is pictured above enjoying a sightseeing tour of the course with event mascot Bear Chills on a specially commissioned London Winter Run open topped bus – as you do!
Speaking about the challenge ahead Heskey said: “Winter is when most of us feel like staying wrapped up inside, enjoying a warm meal and a bit of telly, but it’s so important we remain active and healthy all year round. I’m used to getting up and training in all types of weather from my years playing football and I know first-hand how much of a difference it can make to your mood and well-being. I decided to team up with the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run to encourage people to get moving in winter, whether it’s a walk or a run, and to get those endorphins flowing to feel happy and healthy”.
Last year more than 16,500 runners took part in London's coolest 10K race to help freeze cancer in its tracks. Since the first event in 2015 over 65,000 have run the iconic route through the heart of the city, raising more than £2 million for Cancer Research UK and other great causes.
First to finish in Whitehall last year were Alix Ramsier (South London Harriers, 33:25) and Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (Luton AC, 36:44). Nearly 200 people broke 40 minutes; 2,468 ran 50 minutes or faster and an extraordinary 7,914 runners completed the course in an hour!
reporter Alan Newman ran this race two year's ago and his impressions were contained in his detailed 2017 report here.
Alan's 2018 race summary can also be reviewed here.
You can be sure there will be a comprehensive overview of the action in Trafalgar Square in runABC South
Good luck to all the competitors and Alan's advice is to join in the group warm up, savour the atmosphere and dress for the second mile. You will feel cold before the start but you will soon warm up and this is one race where you won't feel the loneliness of the long distance runner!
Image of Emile Heskey and friend courtesy London Winter Run