There was an autumnal start to the morning at one of the new venues for this year’s WR10K series, Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, on 18 September. With a fresh temperature and overcast skies, it looked like being a perfect morning for running some fast times on the multi-loop course.
Early arrivers were treated to a bit of extra race action from the local Junior parkrun group, who set off an hour ahead of the WR10K ladies from just next to the race village – so they got an extra cheer from our compere Heather.
As Birmingham’s ladies arrived for the race, the bandstand stage featured talks from our 55-minute pacer Clare Bryan, who explained how the pace groups work at the WR10K events. Shortly afterwards our Official Headwear Partner BUFF® took to the stage to demo six ways of wearing the versatile BUFF® Original and then invited the crowd to come up and demo five different styles to win goody bags – three brave women stepped up to the challenge!
Finally it was time to warm up with local PT Ed from 24/7 Fitness Birmingham, and the women were ready to line up and race. The 5K runners set off first, taking in small loops of the scenic park. First home was Rosemary Bye from Oldbury in 29:45. Hajra Rifat came second in 31:36 and hot on her heels was Louise Monk in 31:41.
In the 10K, runners had to pass the event village halfway round so spectators had a good view of the race progressing, as the sun gradually burned through the cloud to give a perfect, fresh but sunny morning. A familiar figure was at the front at halfway and was first to cross the finish line: musician Wrenne Ninja, who has completed and won at several of the WR10K events this year (usually performing in a local Caffe Nero on the same weekend), was first again this time in 44:08. In second place was local lady Linda Howell, running for Bournville Harriers, while Ami Boland came third in 47:32.
You can still enter the last two events of the 2016 series in Finsbury Park, London on 24 September and in Leeds on 2 October – visit wr10k.co.uk to enter and to find out more.