“A bit like a cross-country run on tarmac”, was the immediate reaction from runABC South reporter Alan Newman as he completed the first Greenwich Park Winter Series 10K promoted by the Race Organiser. The inaugural event on Saturday (10 December) will be followed by races on 8 January and 12 February.
The races follow the same two-lap course, measured by Hugh Jones, the first British man to win London Marathon (2:09:24, 1982). Jones is one of the foremost measurers in the world and it is this attention to detail that hallmarks the Race Organiser event experience.
Alan was accompanied by his partner, Sue James and he describes their morning spent in Greenwich: “We were pleasantly surprised to find free parking opposite Blackheath Gate and locating the Race Organiser in Greenwich Park to collect our chip-enabled numbers was a cinch.
“The atmosphere was friendly, with announcements regarding visitors from France and someone’s birthday followed by a group warm-up. Organisation was slick with a secure bag drop at the bandstand.
“The route had more zig-zags than a slalom piste but resulted in an interesting 5k lap with challenging climbs to test the resolve of experienced athletes and beginners alike. The course was well marked and marshalled with aplomb by experienced volunteers, who helped reduce the requirement for dog-dodging.
“The views from the top of the hill to the Royal Observatory were as breathtaking as the effort required to reach that point and this race is the complete antithesis to the many flat and sometimes featureless alternatives.
“The hands on approach of race director, Craig Thornton, extended to leading the race on what appeared to be a rather retro bicycle and the impressive goody bag featured a range of gender specific recovery products and bespoke medal”.
The prompt results service show that the gazelles who left our reporter for dust were Daniel McKeown (36:59) and Teresa Murray (40:15) and the full results are available here
The Race Organiser promotes 70 races a year and Craig Thornton, who has run in a dozen marathons, now puts his energies into helping others to enjoy their sport in many superb, iconic locations.