Santa gets in shape at Richmond 10K
But it was a ladies excuse me in the 5K...
London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest was the venue for the final 10K and 5K races in a series by Nice Work race management on Sunday (12 December). Richmond Park is also London's largest Royal Park and among the fauna that gives rise to its special designation was the mythical man who lives in Lapland, known as Santa Claus.
In fact, in order to preserve the secret identity of the real Santa, numerous imposters were also present to help the jolly old chap get in the best possible shape before his strenuous duties on Christmas Eve.
Our image above shows two such 'Santas' completing the 10K. Alexander (#215) and Simon Hallett (#99) finished together in 1:03:45, followed through the finish line at a respectful distance by #266 Frank Mooney (1:03:46). There were 190 finishers in 1:21:21 as Richmond Park displayed all its majesty on a bright winter's morning.
At the sharp end, there was a close-fought victory for Henry Bangerter (36:20) from Kevin Ferin (36:27). Billy Dainty (39:52) completed the top three and was the only other finisher inside 40 minutes on a course where the men's record stands at 31:30 by Roman Fosti and Emma Pallant ran 36:30 for the women's best, both achieved in 2014.
Fourth overall was the first lady Jessica Gunner (41:45) – a promising junior athlete with Shrewsbury AC. The female runners-up were Catherine Bryan (46:55) and Valerie Kleyn (47:38).
Women were even more prominent in the 5K race as Amy Valentin (23:36) and Gloria Puig Sainz (25:07) took the first two places outright. Holly Jones (28:28) was third and seventh overall as half the top 10 were female athletes.
The leading men were Charlie Bruce (25:55), Jack Gibbs (26:32) and Gary Woodard (27:21).
Full results are available via runABC South race listing here
Image courtesy Nice Work on Facebook