Chris Rainsford wins 2019 London Winter Run

Emile Heskey in good shape at London Winter Run

More than 18,500 runners completed the fifth annual Cancer Research UK London Winter Run this morning (3 February). The massive field was topped and tailed by our picture stars Chris Rainsford (Highgate Harriers, 31:23) and Sarah Hobbs (Hogwarts Running Club, 2:20:34).

It was cold and bright as race ambassador Emile Heskey, sporting bib number one, sent the huge and colourful throng on their way from Trafalgar Square. Emile Heskey made more than 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League and also scored seven goals in 62 England games. The 1.88m tall striker has kept himself in shape and ran 56:38 for 6,652nd.

Heskey was not the most illustrious former football name in action. Kevin Keegan took 60:55 for his 10K but he turned out to be the Cheltenham Harrier and Manager of Cheltenham Flooring Services rather than the mercurial former England captain and manager!

London's coolest 10K was once again dressed for the occasion with giant Yetis and event mascot Bear Chills to amuse the crowds. Our favourite image below shows some of the Polar Bears and Huskies accompanying the final finishers across the line in Whitehall.

Getting their skates on at the head of proceedings were Highgate's Rainsford (31:23), Sergio Santos Rodriguez (Atletismo Benavente, 32:07) and Patrick Townsend (32:17) – with a two minute PB! Last year's champion, Alix Ramsier (South London Harriers, 33:23) ran a second faster than 2018 but was only 10th overall.

The improving standards were also evident in the women's race, where W40 Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (Luton, 35:48) retained her title but had to run a minute faster to win. Runners-up Ana Fox (36:14) and Jordan Foster (Nene Valley Harriers, 36:51) were not far behind as 15 women broke 40 minutes.

That mark was beaten by 264 runners and 85,000 people have now joined the fight against all cancers by running the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run and helped raise £2.5 million to help freeze cancer in its tracks.

For a link to the full results and CRUK London Winter Run website to register your interest in this sellout event for 2020 visit runABC South race listing here.

Images courtesy CRUK London Winter Run

London Winter Run final finishers 2019

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