Wednesday evening saw the ESM ladies, bolstered by a couple of Northala Fields regulars, take part in the annual BA Speedbirds Ladies 5K at Harmondsworth Moor. It was a lovely evening for it too, not overly hot, but with a nice cooling breeze. The course is gently undulating, along a mixture of sand and gravel paths.
It’s a nice friendly, low-key event that attracts a good mix of runners, most of whom come back time and time again. Indeed, the first three runners home for ESM have all taken part for the last three years, and Carol Jones was running this race at least as far back as 2012. The size of the field has increased quite considerably, with 21 finishers back in 2012, compared to 60 this year!
Other running clubs were out in force, with a team of 9 women from the host club, British Airways, 6 from Runnymede Runners and 5 from Datchet Dashers. There was also a good turnout from Shepperton Running Group, with 15 runners and a considerable support team (who also shouted for ESM, so we’re really grateful, thanks, Steve!)
First home for ESM was Carol Jones, in an impressive 23:49.3, followed by Patricia Thomas in 24:09.4. With Louise Prince coming home in 25:38.3 we narrowly missed the third-paced team prize by just under 20” [editor’s note: that was my fault, I assumed the prize went to the first team to get three home rather than being based on cumulative times – having seen only one complete team ahead, I slacked off a bit towards the end and probably cost the team those 20”, sorry, ladies!]
Next home were Claire King and Lindsay Donoghue in 28:29.2 and 28:32.2. They managed to go the wrong way on part of the course, adding to their time. It was Claire’s first time doing this race, so she had a bit of an excuse, but Lindsay, who ran the course two years ago, is putting her extra few yards down to a signposting mix up!
Annick Hooge was the next of the ESM ladies to cross the line, finishing in 30:14.1, followed by Pringla Awale Rai (31:52.7) and Sughra Mohammedi (32:12.1). Northala regulars, Garima Rai and Nilu Dewan completed our group, with times of 23:12.3 and 32.15.2 respectively.
All agreed it was a lovely race, and so nice to be presented with not just a medal but also a rose as we crossed the finish line. Even if we did get bitten to pieces by the midges whilst we waited for the results!
Despite the failure to win a team prize [last year we came third, and the year before we came second, so it’s probably only fair to share it out!] we did have our share of the glory, with Carol Jones taking the F55 prize and Annick Hooge taking the F65 prize – well done, ladies, see you here again next year!
ESM results summary:
10 Carol Jones 23:49.3; 11 Patricia Thomas 24:09.4; 19 Louise Prince 25:38.2; 29 Claire King, 28:29.2; 30 Lindsay Donoghue 28:32.2; 39 Annick Hooge 30:14.1; 46 Pringla Awale Rai 31:52.7; 48 Sughra Mohammedi 32:12.1
Full results can be found here.