The Women’s Running Race Series returned to Milton Keynes on 2 July 2017 for our biggest and brightest event yet. Over 800 runners signed up to the 5K, 10K and one-mile events, with the one-mile event reaching a record number of entrants.
The weather was unexpectedly glorious and, with the morning sun beaming upon the gorgeous Willen Lake, youcouldn’t have wished for a much more scenic backdrop for a morning run out.
The event village was abuzz from early on, as sponsors set up their tents and got chatting to the runners as they arrived on mass. Official National Charity Partner NSPCC were in attendance, alongside Specialist Apparel Partner boobydoo. Official Water Partner Saka Water were also supporting, supplying much-needed hydration supplies on whatturned out to be a hot day, alongside Official Healthy Blend Partner Roots Collective, who supplied delicious prizes for our first, second and third-place finishers. Official Healthy Snack Partner Good Full Stop were also fuelling runners with a range of health-boosting bars to enjoy at the finish.
As runners got chatting, pinned on their race numbers, and settled each other’s pre-race nerves, they enjoyed a series of pre-race interviews. First they heard from two of the dedicated pacers, Emma Jacobs and Laura Brine, who would be accompanying the 10K runners on the course, before listening to an inspiring interview with 10K entrant Glenis Moore. Glenis shared how, after taking up running later in life, she has transformed her lifestyle and, despite suffering from asthma and a progressive breathing condition, is achieving PBs at the age of 62. Runners then heard from Charly Wright at boobydo, on the importance of getting a correctly fitting sports bra, and also Jacqui Venters at NSPCC, who spoke about the charity’s vital work.
It was then for a rousing warm up from the energetic PTs from Nuffield Health, and it wasn’t long before runners were huddled under gantry, awaiting the start gun of the 5K and 10K races.
First home in the 10K was Katie Godof, from Olney, in 29mins 9secs, who was chuffed to have bagged first place on her 40th birthday. She said:
“I do the parkrun around Willen and I thought, ‘I’m going to enter a few 10Ks’ and then I saw this was on my birthday and I thought, ‘I’m going to have to do it’. It’s lovely, really well organised, there’s loads of supportive marshals on the way round, the course is lovely running around Willen and everyone is lovely, helping each other, it makes it a really nice event.”
Next home in the 10K was Katie Tucker in 43mins 27secs, followed by Melanie Wright in 46mins 37secs. First home in the 5K was Deborah Smith, in a speedy time of 20mins 49secs, followed by Katie Gibbons in 22mins 11secs, and Laura Marsh in 22mins 9secs.
Given the weather, runners were happy to relax in the event village in the sunshine as they waited for the start of the family mile at 11.45am, which saw 5K and 10K runners adding an extra mile to their GPS watches, alongside children, dads and partners.
The event saw a real mixture of abilities taking part, and the atmosphere had a real feeling of camaraderie, with many women crossing the line hand in hand, and giving big congratulatory hugs at the finish. Louise Markham, 35, from Huntington, told us she got this feeling from the event. She said: “It’s just nice to see such a mixture of women, all different abilities, buggies, people walking, it’s a fantastic experience.”
Kirsten Sheppard, 33, from Leighton, echoed these comments in her feedback. She was running with her team members at Slimming World Leighton. “We did Couch to 5K from January, so we managed to do the 5K in nine weeks and then we’ve just done odd 5Ks since then,” she said. “[The atmosphere has been] amazing, really inspiring, really uplifting and the weather has been fab. All the way round, even people who have come to support other people and members of the public have been so supportive and there was little girls putting their hands out so we high-fived them, it’s so motivating. We’ve seen pregnant ladies, and babies in buggies, all different sorts – it brings all women together!”