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36th Downland RaceSaturday 10 August 2013
This year the Downland Race was the first of many events taking place on St Pancras Green as part of the Kingston Family Day (July 13th), concluding with the usual stoolball and family BBQ. Because of this we started earlier with registration from 12.30 for a 1pm start. Runners were eager and registration started early. Due to certain ‘Health and Safety’ rules and regulations, we now have a form that all runners are required to complete on behalf of themselves and for their children, which took a little longer than usual.
The weather was fantastic, if a little hot. What a contrast to 2012 when we had to cancel the Downland Race for only the second time in its history due to treacherous conditions following the weeks of torrential rain.
There were 35 runners this year with the Kingston Downland Race Cup being won by Jonathan Burrell in a time of 15:26 knocking more than a second off his second place time in 2011 of 16:28. Jonathan was also the winning Veteran (over 50). Oliver Mercer was 2nd with 16:42 and Jack Adams 3rd with 16:59. Jack actually arrived out of breath after running from his house in order to get to the race before it started.
The youngest child to complete the race was Willow Booth, aged 6, and the winners of the under 7 category were twins Josh and Lucy Sinclair. There were very many entries for the 7-11 category with Raelle Fraser-Cox first back for the girls in 33:54 (27th) and Jack Gardner (age 9) arriving in 6th place with a fantastic 17:40 - beating his 2011 time of 20:14. Max Gardner (age 7) sped home in 8th position in an amazing 18:53 beating his previous time of 23:06. Kai Rahman (age 13) won the 12-17 boy category coming in 7th with a time of 18:51 beating his previous time of 19:01. Holly Greaves (15) won the same category for the girls in 29:20, with the fastest woman being Susan Matthews 30:18.
There were 3 families with the same number of members who completed the race who were in the running for the Family prize and I had to take into consideration the timings of the runners before giving the prize to the Rahman family (not for the first time).
There were few teenagers in the race this year but it did clash with Rock In The Bog (local music festival) and I know a lot were there. Out of interest, there were only 10 runners this year that also ran in 2011 – when we had 60 runners. Not sure why the other 50 decided not to run this year!!! Perhaps it was the heat?
As usual, we need to thank all those who make this possible, including the trusty band of ladies who give you your numbers when you arrive at the finish, use the stopwatch and write down your times, the Marshalls who direct you and give you water and, in particular, those of you who actually run the Downland Race and ensure that this tradition continues