Prolific running event organisers Nice Work demonstrated remarkable prescience when they promoted the Twilight Ultra, Marathon and Half Marathon at Redbridge Cycle Centre, Ilford on Saturday (28 July). Happy ultra-marathon winner, Mark Prigg (pictured), was among 100 runners who were pleased to complete their chosen distance before the heavens opened.
After two weeks of relentless heat and humidity in the southeast, the wind picked up and the heatwave was finally broken with spectacular thunderstorms across the region. However, the staggered start times at the Twilight Ultra meant that everyone was home and dry before the storms had begun.
Mark Prigg (M45 Linklaters, 4:13:29) made light work of the 50K ultra-marathon that was flagged off at 10am, although he fell nine minutes short of Tiarnan Cotter's course record set in the inaugural event last year.
The Colchester Castle parkrun regular was delighted with both his own performance and the organisation, posting this on social media: “Thanks for hosting a great event today. It was a good course, although 'that' hill towards the end of the lap got steeper, I'm sure, and it was fairly breezy out there too! Thanks to the organisers, volunteers and also fellow runners for making this a very enjoyable occasion - all the work and assistance is greatly appreciated. Nice medal, t-shirt and goody bag too, as well as my prizes”.
The ultra runner-up was W40 Charley Jennings (Southend, 4:27:06) who took two and a half minutes off her own course record and personal best set in 2017. Charley favours Hockley Woods for her parkrun and ran 3:13:09 in last year's London Marathon.
Winners of the supporting marathon were Rich Kimmens (3:35:10) – who has run over 196 kilometres in 24 hours – and Cally Place (Saint Edmund Pacers, 4:12:55), while the leaders in the half marathon were Josh Shelton (Harlow RC, 1:33:31) and W35 Marie Shirley (Colchester Harriers, 1:40:26).
So the message is clear. If you want to avoid weather-related disruption to your racing plans you need to check out the hundreds of events organised by Sussex-based Nice Work