Fly 5K 40th run

Time flies as Fly 5K reaches 40th run milestone

Fly 5K record falls as 370 take part in latest weekly event

“Tempus fugit”, as Virgil once said. No, not the world's most expensive and currently sidelined Liverpool defender, but the ancient Roman poet in his famous work The Georgics, published in 29BC when he was aged 40 years.

Time flies is certainly true today, despite the seemingly endless drudgery of this infernal but necessary lockdown to contain and eventually defeat coronavirus. Happily for us runners there are visionary organisers like Graham Smith, of St Albans Striders, who launched Fly 5K on Saturday 6 June 2020.

Since then, more than 7,500 results have been posted by around 2,000 members of the Fly 5K community, who know a good thing when they see one! Fly 5K has quickly established a very supportive and vibrant Facebook community and the free 5K runs take place every week on a Saturday morning (sounds familiar?). This facilitates a real race feel to the virtual runs.

Saturday 20 February 2021 saw the 40th run milestone passed with a Fly 5K record for newcomer Jeremy Dempsey (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, 14:44) – one of 40 first-timers taking part in the 40th event. Demsey is a four-minute miler and was a bronze medallist in the English National junior cross country at Leeds in 2019.

The fastest female on Saturday was Stacey Ormerod (St Albans Striders, 19:05) and the top age-graded performance was 92.15% by men's runner-up Darren Deed (Dunstable Road Runners, 15:05). The full results can be reviewed at the Fly 5K website here

Fly 5K is a fully inclusive event. On Saturday there were runners aged 5 to 80+ taking part at their own pace, near their own place. As usual, there were many unique challenges such as Lauren Samat, taking part in her first Fly 5K event and racing against her washing machine by completing her Fly 5K before the washing machine cycle finished. Lauren won by 7 minutes! Lauren ran 27:58 for an impressive debut and was 213th from 370 finishers in 1:04:57. 

We leave Graham Smith with the final words on the progress of Fly 5K: "It's been great to see Fly 5k grow ever larger, particularly over recent weeks, as a very positive response to the situation we find ourselves in with lockdown. We have almost 2,000 members; an average of around 300 runners taking part each week, and runners from over 130 different running clubs have taken part, as well as many not in running clubs”. 

“More importantly, I love that Fly 5K continues to foster a really friendly, fun, and supportive community in our Facebook group; has motivated many to their best ever 5k performances, and is welcoming for all levels of runner. It's easy to take part by joining us through the Fly 5K Facebook group, or simply submitting your time on the day via the Fly 5K website”.

Image: Graham Smith (Fly 5K)

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