Nearly 1,700 competitors from all over London lined up Sunday morning to participate in the Kingston Run Challenge in Kingston Market Square.
The Kingston Run Challenge is an annual event that offers three different distances, following a circular path through town and along the Thames river.
Event organisers Human Race said that this year, the run “included a new 24 mile race complete with relay element for those who wanted to drag a couple of mates out of bed on a Sunday morning.”
As well as the new 24 mile race, the event still held the 8 and 16 mile races.
Kelsey Offord, Marketing & Sponsorship Professional at Human Race, explained, runners from previous years requested a longer distance, and this prompted the change. She also noted that with the longer distance, ‘challenge’ was added to the name to reflect the tougher nature of the run.
Over 70 people took up the new challenge and participated in the 24 mile race. Additionally, the relay was comprised of 17 teams of three people.
The 8 and 24 mile races started at 8 am, just as the morning mist began to lift. Not long after, at 8:30 am, the 16 mile runners set off. The first to cross the finish line was Danny Norman, taking first place in the 8 mile race with a time of 45:50. The first female to finish the 8 mile race was Natalie Seymour, at 49:55.
Chris Walmsley finished first in the 16 mile race, beating his club mate and rival Richard Lazell. Walmsley ended with a time of 1:35:35. Lisa Rooney (1:52:22) and Zoe West (1:52:36) crossed the line within seconds of each other, to place first and second in the female 16 mile race.
Mark Rabatts, who placed first in the 24 mile race, grew up in Kingston and entered the run when he heard about it just 3 weeks ago. “I didn‘t really train for it properly. Just my regular running,” he said.
“I like the early start [of the race]…I grew up in Kingston. I went to school here, and it’s nice to come back,” he added.
Relay team, The Press Gang, won the inaugural relay race, while Sarah Dudgeon (2:59:18) finished first in the female’s 24 mile race in just under three hours. Human Race holds several races a year, including this weekend’s Shock Absorber WomenOnly Run.