Success in the sunshine at second Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon 2015
Elite runner Matthew Kimutai led the 13,000 runners across the finish line of the second Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday 10th May, 2015. Matthew, from team Run Fast, won the men’s race in an astonishing time of 1:03:21, and Katy Webster won the women’s race in a time of 01:17:38. The second and third men to finish were Sammy Nakoye, Run Fast, in 01:03:26, and Anuradha Cooray from Vale of Aylesbury Athletics Club in 01:04:45. The second and third ladies to finish were Philippa Taylor, Nene Valley Harriers in 01:21:08, and Rebekah Gardiner, Shaftesbury Barnes Athletics Club, in 01:22:25.
Over 13,000 runners of all ages and abilities entered to complete the 2015 Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon, and many thousands more turned out to cheer them on.
The wheelchair race was won by Doug Stone in a time of 01:54:46.
The race was officially started at Hackney Marshes by local athlete, Perri Shakes-Drayton, double European indoor champion in 400m hurdles. “I love the enthusiasm and vibe here today and the weather also helped,” said Perri. The runners enjoyed the flat and fast course, which took them past some of Hackney’s best kept parks and key landmarks, including the world-famous Hackney Empire and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Local residents and businesses were out in force waving banners, cheering and applauding the runners along the route.
The idea for Vitality Run Hackney came from Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, who took part in the inaugural race last year and ran again this year. “I would like to say congratulations to every runner and thanks to all our supporters for another huge success for Hackney,” he continued. “The borough gave the runners a very warm welcome and the atmosphere was as much a carnival and celebration as it was a race,” he says. “I’m delighted to see this year’s event so well supported with a record turnout of runners and huge local support: it has been a fantastic day.”
The large field of runners, positions Vitality Run Hackney in the top 10 half marathons in the UK. Race organisers, GO2, were delighted by the response from runners and spectators to the second Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon.
“After the success of the first ever Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon in 2014 we wanted to set the bar high and create a bigger and better race day experience for 2015. Runner and resident feedback is key to building a sustainable event and inspiring others to set Vitality Run Hackney as their running challenge,” says Jamie Warren, Head of Marketing and Commercial at GO2, the race organiser.
“We set out to deliver a fast, PB course for the lead runners and a friendly, supportive route for everyone. And of course the event continues to inspire the next generation of runners, with over 1,000 local primary schoolchildren completing the Vitality Run Hackney Schools’ Challenge. It has been another success for Hackney and we look forward to doing it all again next year.”
Neville Koopowitz CEO, Vitality commented, “We are delighted to see so many runners take part in today’s Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon. It was a superb turnout and we look forward to our next event – The British 10K London Run – on Sunday 12 July.”
Over 1,000 local school children also participated in Vitality Run Hackney, by completing their own half marathon distance as part of the Vitality Run Hackney Schools’ Challenge. The youngsters ran a mile once or twice a week to complete 12 miles before race day, and completed the final mile run on the finish straight of Hackney Marshes to the cheers of thousands of spectators.
Perri was there to start their race and welcome them back, and happily signed autographs and posed for pictures. “I really like the way the distance was broken down into weekly runs to give children a nice introduction to track and field. Getting children started and giving them an opportunity is something I’m passionate about and the Schools Challenge is a great idea.”
Pre-registration is now open for 2016’s Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon. To register your interest for 2016 visit www.runhackney.com. Vitality Run Hackney is part of a nationwide series of races called the Vitality Run Series. Visit www.vitalityrunseries.com for more information.