Vitality London 10,000 – Green Park – Mon 30 May 2016

Fourteen ESM members travelled to Green Park on Monday to tackle the prestigious Vitality London 10,000. Around 12,000 runners completed the scenic course, which takes in many of the capital’s best known sights. Club members reported that it was well organised for such a large event, but it was hard work getting through the crowds at times, especially at the start. As might be expected, their experiences were mixed, but half of them came home boasting a new personal best time for the distance.

Under 20 Manish Kunwar was first home for the club, defying a recent ankle injury to clock up a personal best with a highly respectable time of 36 minutes. Hard on his heels was Nick Steel, also continuing his excellent progress with a significant PB. When spotted at the 3km mark, he was still seen trying to weave his way past slower runners! Malcolm Woolsey, another improving athlete, had been hoping to break the 40 minute barrier after his recent PB of 40 dead, but was just seconds outside. Conversely M50 Pete Drew, a regular at this race every year, was delighted to dip a similar number of seconds inside his PB. (The photo below suggests he may have been doing some secret weight training!) Steve Curd continued his injury comeback with a solid run. M50 Charles Trotman and U20 Zachary Prince both completed their first official 10k in almost identical times; Zachary turned 17 last month, the minimum permitted age for tackling this race distance. Ian McNally has been carefully managing injuries all year, and got his rewards this weekend, with a parkrun PB on Saturday and a 10k best here.

For the women, Sarah Gerrie led the team home, despite her young family interrupting her sleep. Leanne Smith had a much better day of it, focusing on her race plan when fatigue kicked in at 8k, and finishing strongly with a very significant PB. After several weeks’ injury layoff, Cath Gunnewicht had no prospect of bettering her time but did well to finish inside 50 minutes. Like Malcolm, Stacey McManus could not quite match her best achieved at the recent Chase the Sun 10k. By contrast, W55 Danielle Mercey sliced nearly two minutes from hers and Sophie Pesticcio almost as much.

It was good to spot club family members out on the course too. This event is the only race to tempt Patricia Thomas’s husband Roger beyond a parkrun but he ran a personal best this year. Lynn and Martin’s daughter Emma set a PB, while Santosh’s wife Pringla tackled the distance for the first time.

ESM results summary:

Men: 229 Manish Kunwar 36:00; 250 Nick Steel 36:15; 631 Malcolm Woolsey 40:05; 740 Peter Drew (M50) 40:46; 1930 Steve Curd 46:26; 2191 Roger Thomas (M60) 47:22; 2413 Charles Trotman (M50) 48:11; 2438 Zachary Prince 48:15; 3419 Ian McNally 51:06
Women: 1096 Sarah Gerrie 42:55; 1153 Leanne Smith 43:12; 2288 Emma Wilson 48:26; 2888 Catherine Gunnewicht (W45) 49:38; 3179 Stacey McManus 50:25; 3305 Danielle Mercey (W55) 50:45; 4567 Sophie Pesticcio (W40) 53:54; 5939 Pringla Awale Rai 56:57

Full results here.