Nearly 60 Years Of Wolverton 5
Not your average five-miler...
runABC South news reporter Alan Newman has fond, if somewhat distant, memories of running the Wolverton 5 back in the day. It always was a top-class club event with fast times recorded on a two-lap course around the Wolverton Railway works.
The first Wolverton 5 Mile Road Race was held in 1965 and it has been held almost every year since then, on the last Saturday in November. The early races were organised by the current Marshall Milton Keynes AC President, Milford Callow, and his wife Rose holds the distinction of having officiated at every single race!
The event's peak in terms of popularity was in 1981 when more than 700 entered and there were 530 finishers. In 1991 the race was moved to its current home at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, where it enjoys a traffic-free course that retains the tradition of being raced over two laps.
The fastest time on the original course was 23:08 by GB international steeplechaser Gordon Rimmer (Cambuslang Harriers/RAF) in 1980. The revised venue at Willen Lake has yielded many remarkable performances and the best to date are by Parkside Harrow AC's double Olympian Alison Wyeth (26:21 in 1992) and the following year Welsh international Justin Hobbs (Cardiff AC) ran 23:01 for the men's event record.
So we come to this year's Wolverton 5 race on Saturday 18 November, with 133 finishers in 64 minutes. The detailed event stats tell us that 90 men finished with an average time of 32:28 and there were 43 women competing with their average being 43:29 (combined gender average 36:02).
Of those who were above average, the top three men were Alfie Manthorpe (Sheffield & Dearne AC, 23:29), Jack Goodwin (Bedford & County AC, 23:32) and Joshua Grace (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, 24:11).
The leading ladies were Tessa McCormick (Vale Royal AC, 27:18), Lara Bromilow (W40 Marshall Milton Keynes AC, 28:48) and Elle Roche (Marshall Milton Keynes AC, 29:20).
The pace incentive prizes of £200 for the first man to beat 23 minutes and the first woman to break 26.20 remained unclaimed for another year.
Full results are shown via runABC South's race listing here.
Photo shows the 46th annual Wolverton 5 start in 2010 courtesy ResultsBase.net