European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey returned to her former home in south west London and won the Kew Gardens 10K at the weekend. The Devon runner was long based in the area and she was the star attraction at the Richmond Running Festival, winning in 32:47, one of a number of events that took place on Sunday 21 September.
The Royal Botanic Gardens played host to the event that also saw wheelchair races, the Visit Richmond Half Marathon and the Nike Kids’ Mile races. An estimated 4,000 runners took part in the festival which climaxed in Old Deer Park where post-race entertainments included bands, DJs and local partner charity activities.
Jo Pavey was later crowned ‘Queen of Richmond’ on a throne in the middle of Old Deer Park after she finished as leading female, just behind the male winner, Will Brewin who clocked 32:31.
Afterwards, Pavey said: “It’s always nice to be back in this area; it’s such a great place to train. I really enjoyed the race, I love how varied the route was and the atmosphere was fantastic along the way.”
Victory in the men’s half marathon went to Italian, Alberto Mosca, from Bialli, near Turin in a time of 1:10:31. He commented: “It was not easy for me to get a PB, but this was such a beautiful race, I didn’t mind.”
Hayley Manning, winner of the inaugural event last year, returned to compete in the Visit Richmond Half Marathon, successfully retaining her title in a time of 1:28:18.
The Richmond Running Festival was established last year giving the borough a London Olympic legacy sporting event. Paul Buckley, operations director at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “It feels very special to be hosting the start of the Richmond Running Festival. We are delighted to be support a community event that promotes active lifestyles for all ages.”