Something for everyone could well have been the motto for the latest RunThrough promoted race series at the Lee Valley Olympic VeloPark venue in North London on Saturday, 27 January.
This Moto GP style circuit, normally used for cycle road racing, makes an ideal venue for road running. The undulations provide a challenge; the smooth tarmac surface is a pleasure to run on and the one mile lap aids pace judgement – unless you are only running a mile!
Saturday's programme was described in our runABC South weekend preview as the full English menu of 5k, 10k, 10 miles and half marathon races. We forgot to mention the one mile appetiser at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue. The à la carte offerings certainly appealed as the event was a sell out with an entry limit of 400 on the start line.
Mohammed Hanif (M35 Watford Joggers, 6:37) made a good pacemaker in the free to enter (if under-13) Kid's Mile, where the leading stars of tomorrow were Leo Templer (7:04) and Grace Murphy (7:26).
The 5k went to Krystian Zahraj (19:24) from Jablunkov, Czech Republic. Amanda Mitchell (25:03) led the women's race. Double the distance suited Mark Mellor (34:56) and Alice Bennett (43:45) in the 10k race. There were 139 finishers in 1:29:11.
Moving up to 10 miles we had two men inside the hour: Danny O'Reilly (London Heathside, 59:03) and Mike Waters (59:27). Peter James (Clapham Chasers, 1:01:25) was a clear third ahead of first lady Jenna Walker (1:04:00). W35 Caro Harper (Serpentine, 1:12:06) and Jo Humphrey (RunThrough, 1:15:20) filled the women's leader board as 141 closed in 2:32:32.
Finally, the serious business of the half marathon completed the card and this was the most popular menu choice with 237 finishers in just over three hours. Half the field were inside 1:50 and the top three men were M50 Hendrik Zeitsman (Serpentine, 1:18:57), M40 Paul Makowski (Royston Runners, 1:19:57) and Alex Gilbert (1:21:02).
The women's race was also dominated by age group leaders as W40 Kate Carter (Wimbledon Windmilers, 1:27:29) took the honours from W35 Virginia Silio (Massey Ferguson, 1:28:58) and Hester Barsham-Rolfe (Greenwich Tritons, 1:31:23).