Necessity is the mother of invention for Chasers
Loss of Regent's Park 10K series leads to Olympic Park 10-miler
When friendly Kentish Town running club Mornington Chasers found they were unable to hold their much-loved Regent's Park 10K race series due to the restrictions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, a rapid rethink was required.
With the Olympic Games also being postponed, an idea arose to host a one-off 10-mile race instead at London's own Olympic venue and so the VeloPark 10 Mile by Mornington Chasers was conceived and delivered, with expert assistance from The Race Organiser.
VeloPark is a one-mile, Moto GP-style, bike race circuit wholly within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, lending itself perfectly to the COVID-secure arrangements that are necessary these days to secure UK Athletics license status.
The grid was open for up to two hours to facilitate individual starts with approximately 15-second intervals and chip-timing ensured a full set of results, complete with lap times, was available promptly.
The top ten men all broke 60-minutes, despite the undulating course. Fastest overall were Nathan Wilkins (Kent AC, 55:09) on his 10-mile debut; M40 Phil Dickens (Cambridge Harriers, 56:17) and Niall Gilchrist (Clapham Chasers, 57:20). Wilkins averaged almost 11mph and his laps were timed between 5:35 and a storming last mile in 5:20.
The hosts Mornington Chasers were well represented throughout and provided the top three women in Janine Makaronidis (1:07:48) – another athlete winning at their first attempt at the distance – plus W40 masters Danielle Smreczak (1:13:36) and Camilla Ray (1:13:52).
There were 83 finishers in 1:43:00 and Camilla Ray was the midpoint finisher, as 46 athletes went inside 75 minutes. Our image, courtesy Mornington Chasers, shows Lizzy Muggeridge clicking that all-important time as she finishes the race in fine style.
Link to full results via runABC South race listing here