London Winter Run polar bears

Polar (Bear) Express Heads For London

They must have had a claws in their contract so they didn't have to walk!

Thankfully, there was no mass panic as a celebration of polar bears arrived in Trafalgar Square for the 7th Cancer Research London Winter Run 10K organised by Human Race on Sunday (5 February). The volunteers must have had a claws in their contract so they didn't have to walk, although appearing on the top deck of a London sightseeing bus was hardly subtle!

Billed as London's coolest 10K, the event is rapidly developing into one of London's biggest races with 13,674 finishers raising another £750,000 towards vital research that will help CRUK achieve their stated ambition to see three in every four people survive their cancer by 2034.

London Winter Run is also becoming one of London's – if not the UK's – fastest 10K races with several current internationals leading the action at the head of the vast field. With no time to appreciate the colourful characters that give this race its unique winter vibe, there was a sub-29-minute winner and four talented women in the top 10 overall.

First to experience the finish line frolics this year was HOKA athlete Ellis Cross (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 28:52) – just 12 seconds slower than his personal best time set last May when he shot to prominence by defeating Sir Mo Farah for the Vitality London 10,000 title.

The runners-up on chip timing were Jonathan Collier (Harrow AC, 30:19 PB), Chris Rainsford (Heanor, 30:41) and sub-1:45:00 800m specialist Tom Randolph (Tamworth AC, 31:49) – the only other male to finish ahead of the women's champion, Jess Warner-Judd.

Warner-Judd (Blackburn Harriers, 31:59) was a clear winner from the closely-fought battle between Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 32:48), Emma Pallant-Browne (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 32:50 PB) and Mhairi MacLennan (Preston Harriers, 32:57 PB).

Further back there were 274 finishers inside 40 minutes; 2,324 beat 50 minutes and 6,642 found that an hour was no barrier on the flat, fast course that finishes on Whitehall in the shadow of Big Ben.

With 10 wave-starts from 9:30am the course remained open and traffic free for 12 hours so everyone could Party With Penguins, High Five Huskies, and be greeted by those cuddly Polar Bears!

Previous results and event reports are at runABC South race listing here.

Full details at the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run 10K website.

Image courtesy Cancer Research UK on Facebook

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