There was a stark reminder of the huge losses suffered in the First World War and subsequent conflicts when 360 competitors 'froze' for two minutes mid-race during the Phoenix Running Remembrance Day Marathon on Sunday (11 November).
Phoenix Running had commissioned a fabulous cake (pictured – yes, that is a cake!) to mark the special occasion as Armistice Day coincided with Remembrance Sunday exactly 100 years after the First World War ended. By all accounts the cake tasted as good as it looked!
Phoenix Remembrance Day Marathon is based at Xcel Leisure Centre, Walton-on-Thames and the course is out and back on the River Thames towpath between the Weir Pub and Molesey Lock, with four laps to complete 26.2 miles.
The comprehensive results indicate average lap times as well as finishing times and are adjusted to account for the uniquely respectful mid-race freeze that is sounded by race marshals with air horns at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.
The sudden halt in proceedings is so dramatic that it is even observed by other Thames path users, as cyclists dismount and dog walkers pause to reflect, creating an extraordinarily powerful image.
When it came to the running the most efficient athlete was Rob Cloete, the only competitor to duck under three hours, who averaged 44:53 for his four laps to stop the clock on 2:59:33. Also inside 50 minute 10km pace were Jay McDonald (3:05:46); Scott Parfitt (3:11:29); Lee Field (3:14:38) and Jon Drake (3:17:05).
The leading women were Ann Cox (3:32:35), Jodie Windrum (3:34:59) and W65 Caroline Horder (3:45:10).
All finishers received a superb 100 years Armistice Day commemorative medal as a tangible reminder of the day they took part in a truly inspiring and poignant occasion. Congratulations to the team at Phoenix Running
for presenting a class commemorative event.