This years race was held on Saturday 28th April on a very wet and windy day at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley. As Race Director it is my responsibilty for arranging the venue, lap recorders, refreshments, weather! and of course the competitors.
This year I accepted a record number of entries (31) in the 12 hour race and 19 in the 6 hours.
On the day 20 started the 12 hours and 16 the 6 hours.
I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job with the weather as it was windy and rained on and off all day!Two gazebos were completely wrecked but, thank God, no one was injured.
The favourite for the 12 hour race which started at 7-00am was Richard Quennell (2nd last year) and he did not disappoint maintaining a good pace once the early leaders had fallen back after a few hours, falling just short of his best with 80.91 miles (130.21km) The women’s winner Ann Bath, set a British W60 distance of 54.77 miles (88.14km).
At 10.00am the 6 hour race began and by 4 hours Allen Smalls already had a 3 mile lead over Paul Fernandez. Running smoothly through the 5 hour mark Allen still looked fluent until he passed the previous M/40 record (84.9km) when he eased off the gas. Over the last hour Paul found an extra gear and pulled a lap back but it was too late to seriously threaten the winner whose final distance was 53.87 miles (86.70km) a new World M/40 age group record. It was very exiting but made a lot of extra paperwork for me to get it ratified (still pending).
The women’s 6 hour winner, Helen James, set a P.B. in her fourth such race recording 41.3 miles (66.45km).
As usual all concerned had an enjoyable day and I would like to thank everyone who helped me especially the timekeepers, lap recorders, my friends from Gloucester, Mandy the Track Manager and Sid Morrison.
Thanks also to John Greatrex for bringing along the 1948 Olympic torch which was carried around the track by the runners, and Mark Easton for taking photos.
A cheque for £1200 was presented to Gerry & Rose from Advance International Ministries to help with the work taking place in Kiyindi, Uganda.
The date for next years race is Saturday 27th of April.