The Ealing Harriers Boxing Day race has been staged since 1924. The first winner of the cup was J F Bain back in 1936. Apart from the Second World War the race has been held every year since then until 2020 when the lock-down prevented us from staging it. The man who got his name on the cup most often was Mike Barratt who won it as a 19 year old in 1951, and then 25 more times just for good measure.
This year was our first race on a new course in Perivale Park (though we did run the races there in 2010 when the park was deep in snow and the temperature -2C). We were supposed to be reusing the Yacht Handicap course but the recent heavy rain resulted in flooding near the football cabins, so we had to amend the course. Still the rain had meant that the river Brent had burst its banks and flooded the golf course so we didn’t have to watch for flying golf balls.
First off was the short race – expertly measured at 1.48km. This resulted in the closest of finishes with Jack Hayward making a lunge to try and get past Mika Stripp on the finish line. In the end the two were too close to separate. Sophia Sargeant was the first girl ahead of newcomer Megan Price.
The longer race had the option of one lap of ~3km or two laps totalling c5.9km. Jonathan Poole led from start to finish though he didn’t pull away from Kristian Tung until the last kilometre. Kristian was awarded the coveted cup though as the first first claim member of ESM.
First woman home was Under 15 runner Nicola Hewitt, with Patricia Thomas the first senior runner. Patricia was the official winner as Nicola was too young so we awarded her dad Tom a bottle of wine as consolation.
Many thanks to Lynn and Jav for the photos. All the results are below: