Lee Valley Regional Park is a regular venue for running events, stretching for a marathon in length and covering 10,000 acres along the leafy banks of River Lee through Hertfordshire and Essex into North London. Competitors in the unusual Ten Fest by Active Training World made the most of this exceptional environment yesterday (Sunday 28 July).
Active Training World is promoting popular races at distances from 5k to half marathon as well as a range of duathlons and triathlons but only one event can qualify for the unusual title of Ten Fest by virtue of the choice of racing distance – 10K or 10 miles.
Sunday's 10K was the better supported race with 230 finishers in 2:06:48. The famous Olympic White Water Centre was the base for both races, with start and finish within the Showground site and the whole course on flat, traffic-free parkland within sight of water.
South African athlete Nick Bester (Herne Hill Harriers, 33:17) – pictured above – shot into an early lead he was never going to relinquish and ran out a clear winner from Harlow team mates Rob Lowe (M45, 35:49) and Craig Segal (36:11).
The lightly-raced Natasha Mansell (W35 Aldershot, 37:57) was even more dominant in the women's race, finishing eighth overall, with more than four minutes in hand over Rosie East (42:19) and Daniella Wax (W45, 44:43). There were 125 finishers within 60 minutes on the smooth tarmac and hard-packed trails.
That threshold was breached by just one athlete in the simultaneously held 10-mile race. Antonio Martin Romero (East London, 55:54) clipped along at 5:35-pace for victory by four minutes from Martin Westley (Harlow, 60:11) and the outstanding M60 master Paul Mingay (Tiptree, 60:52) – still blasting out sub-17-minute 5ks and a category winner in this year's Seville Marathon (2:47:40).
A swift 66:35 and PB by more than five minutes saw Annaka Charters (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) safely home in the women's race, finishing 10th overall. Samantha Grainger (71:59) and Petya Gaytanska (73:57) completed the podium as 193 finished in 2:21:19.
Check out this great 10 Fest race video
by regular vlogger Chris Ford for a flavour of the action.