WR10K 2016: LONDON REPORT
A chilly, overcast day in north London did nothing to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of happy ladies who turned out for the penultimate WR10K of the year in Finsbury Park.
With the 5K taking in one loop of the park and the 10K two, all runners were promised a charming (if not entirely flat!) run, taking in the historic boat pond, athletics track and tree-lined avenues.
While the runners were limbering up and taking on some last-minute caffeine, we had a number of on-stage interviews to provide a bit of early-morning motivation. First up, Jenni Anderson of Children’s Hospices Across London (CHaL) – the WR10K charity partner – spoke of the brilliant work CHaL does to ensure that sick children and their families are able to, for a little while, forget about illness and have fun. Jenni also, to everyone’s delight, announced that cake and doughnuts would await everyone at the finish!
We also heard from inspirational runner Julie Creffield, founder of toofattorun.co.uk, who recalled her own running journey – from being called “too fat to run” to becoming a marathoner – and assured everyone that runners come in all shapes and sizes, and that every run is a chance to inspire others to lace up their trainers.
Then, with all the runners buoyed by feel-good vibes and the promise of post-race cake, our PT Timmy took to the stage for the pre-race warm-up. Soon everyone was flailing their arms in the air and jumping and down, and before long it was time to take to the start line for the main event.
A 10-second countdown, an orchestra of watch beeps and one very loud air horn later, and they were off!
Twenty-five minutes and twenty-one seconds later, Lis Hanson became the first lady home in the 5K, before Jen Smith stopped the clock at 42:41 to become our 10K winner.
Speaking at the end of the race, Jen, who was running the Finsbury Park race for the third year in a row, had this to say:
“I wasn’t actually planning on running the race until this morning, but woke up and thought why not! It’s such a lovely atmosphere here. It’s really inclusive and everyone’s super supportive.”
Second home was Camilla Rahm, who clocked 44:42. Camilla, who was visiting the UK from Sweden, was impressed by the personal feel of the race:
“I’m used to huge races in Sweden with thousands of people, but this was lovely. Everyone encourages each other and it’s not too competitive.”
And, if she’s back in the UK, will she run another WR10K?
“Of course I will!”
On finishing, the runners – from speedy twenty-somethings to the always-smiling older ladies – tucked into their goody bags, took selfies and exercised their right to post-race cake. The sun even began to break through clouds to top off another successful WR10K – made so by the endless enthusiasm of all the ladies who took part.
A big thank you to our sponsors, HOKA, Solgar, BUFF and Saka Water for their brilliant support and for supplying such an excellence array of goodies, samples and prizes for our Finsbury Park race this year.