Under glorious sunshine, almost 700 runners ventured to South Willen Lake for the WR10K Milton Keynes race.
The race village was abuzz with chatter as runners slapped on suncream, filled up water bottles and readied themselves for this flat and fast course.
Before the race, runners took on the ‘BUFF Challenge’ – seeing how many different ways they could wear this flexible piece of headwear – while a Solgar representative explained why vitamin supplements can form a vital part of a runner’s diet.
As always, there were pacers from 50 minutes to 70 minutes to help runners reach their goals, and fully stocked Saka water stations to keep runners hydrated. The 60-minute pacer, Shara Jones, explained how pacing works and encouraged runners to try to run an even-paced race and not head off too fast. We then heard from 10K runner Louise Vincent, who shared her inspiring story of her running journey, since taking it up last year.
After personal trainer Mollie Millington had led the runners in a high-energy warm-up, everyone headed to the start line.
The field contained both 5K runners (one loop of the lake) and 10K runners (two loops). Everyone headed off together along the wide, flat path, but it was Ula Krajinska who was in the lead after one lap, with Wrenne Ninja and Nikki Ingham chasing hard and looking strong.
Moments later, the first 5K runner emerged. Joanna Barlow made short work of the course and the heat to take the win, with Collette Callaway and Rachel Eborall finishing in first and second place respectively.
The crowd then waited to see which of the 10K runners would emerge victorious. It was Wrenne, who had taken the lead at 6K and never looked back. She finished with a new PB of 40:48, while Ula bravely hung on for second place with fast-finishing Nikki just over a minute behind her in third. The three winners left the event village with a smile, each taking home a pair of trainers from official shoe partner, HOKA ONE ONE.
After the event, runners took to the Women’s Running Facebook page to give the event a virtual thumbs-up. Nicola Johnstone, running her first 10K event, wrote: ‘Thank you to all the super cheerful marshals who kept up the encouragement. The atmosphere was amazing and all the ladies I met were friendly and supportive. A great first experience for me and one I hope to repeat next year.’
10K top three
Wrenne Ninja 40:48
Ula Krajinska 42:29
Nikki Ingham 43:33
5K top three
Joanna Barlow 24:03
Colette Callaway 24:51
Rachel Eborall 25:16
Find the full results here. You can also view the event photos on the Women’s Running Facebook page here.