RunUK combined everyone's favourite race distances to promote the Wimbledon Half Marathon and 10K, with almost 600 runners converging on Wimbledon Common to battle wind, rain and each other on a squally Sunday morning (28 October).
RunUK has a small but perfectly formed portfolio of 5k, 10k and half marathon events held in Surrey and London venues. The organisers, runners themselves, take the time to listen to participants and try to incorporate positive suggestions to further improve their events.
One extra they provide is a pre-race warm up and stretching session 15 minutes before the start to get the muscles primed and help prevent injury. This was much appreciated as the competitors shivered in the first true blast of winter weather to hit the south this year.
Warm up over and it was on with the racing and there was no hanging about to admire the glorious Wimbledon Common view beside the Rushmere Pond in SW19. The early stages of the course are flat or slightly downhill but Copse Hill presents a challenge towards the finish.
Top three men in the half were the lightly raced Tim Haughian (Stragglers, 1:12:03), Allan Coyle (1:18:04) and local favourite Jonathan Lane (Hercules Wimbledon, 1:19:07). The women's race went to Aimee Hardwicke with a very tidy 1:30:00 gun time (1:29:50 chip). There were 344 finishers in 2:49:21 and more than 200 runners were inside two hours.
The 10K runners enjoyed just one lap with 199 feet of elevation gained. Jeremy Hunt (36:12) took time off from managing our Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to show his credentials over 6.2 miles! Julia Donovan 42:08 led the women in an excellent top ten overall. The 10K saw 221 finish in 1:31:39 and 137 completed the course in less than an hour.
The remaining RunUK events this year are the Richmond Half Marathon (4 November); Richmond 10K (18 November); Kingston 10K (25 November) and Putney 10K (2 December).