An impressive 1,171 ran through London's Victoria Park yesterday (Saturday 13 January) in the 5k, 10k and half marathon races promoted by … RunThrough.
Victoria Park is London's oldest park, having been used for more than 170 years as a place for recreation, sports and play and relaxation. It was opened in 1845 and this much loved green lung is colloquially known as Vicky Park or the People's Park.
Situated just a mile away from the London Olympic Park, the venue was used extensively during London 2012 as a BT London Live event venue. It is estimated the park attracts 12 million visitors annually but its 86.18 hectares never feel congested.
The fresh air and wide open spaces were appreciated by the competitors in Saturday's races. The largest field opted for the longest event and 569 completed 13.1 miles on the wide, flat paths with mile markers to help pace judgement.
The top three men were Christoforos Xenos (1:13:48), Alessio Gessa (1:14:05) and Ross Christie (Gateshead Harriers, 1:14:06) – the latter close to his 2014 PB of 1:13:48. Betty Bohane (Truro RC, 1:24:07 PB) took the plaudits in the women's race from Marion Buggins (1:25:52) and Catrin Tyler (1:27:28).
Sub-1:50 was required to finish in the top half of the pack and the entire field completed inside three hours.
The 10k race was more clear cut at the front as Paul Quinton (East London Runners, 34:04), Barnaby Walker (Highgate Harriers, 34:59) and Jonathan Abel (West 4 Harriers, 35:34) led 453 finishers round in 1:18:34.
Megan Wilson (Highgate Harriers, 38:07) was an excellent tenth overall to win the women's category from Emily Clarke (East London Runners, 41:26) and Samantha Dickinson (42:33).
Nicholas Parkes (19:39) had the honour of being the sole runner inside 20-minutes in the 5k dash and the first lady was Jennifer Crewdson (21:51) in sixth place.