|Perivale 5 Road Race|
Hundreds turned out for this annual pre-Christmas event
The Perivale 5, Ealing’s longest established road race, was a sell-out for the second year running, with 400 runners signing up in advance.
In cool conditions with a light intermittent rain, Mo Hashi of Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC took an early lead, with a blistering but unsustainable 4:40 opening mile. Clubmate Jamie Taylor-Caldwell then took up the running, tracked by Samir Haddad, and this proved to be the final result, Jamie winning (26:15) with a comfortable margin over Samir (27:29).
Mo hung onto third for a while, making it an ESM 1-2-3 for the early stages. However, he was eventually overhauled by a trio of runners, Matt Woodman of Stafford Harriers claiming the third place not far behind Samir (27:35).
It was a tight finish for the top veteran finish, Ben Martin-Dye of Bracknell Forest Runners placing fifth overall in 27:53, just a second ahead of Steve Norris of Thames Valley Harriers. Similarly, Gavin Evans of London Heathside was pipped by one second to the first M50 spot by Laurence Duffy (29:32) of the Stragglers. Right behind them, Bob Bradbury of Woking ran a notably quick time for the M60 category (29:34), placing 22nd overall and winning a prize for the best age-graded performance of the day. A total of 29 men broke the 30 minute barrier – including for the first time, Lee Davis of Prince Evans Solicitors, main sponsor of the race.
The close finishes continued in the women’s race. Leigh James of London Heathside, winner on two previous occasions, was first to emerge onto the athletics track for the final 350m, followed by veteran Victoria Carter of Thames Valley Harriers and Cathy Jeremiah of London Heathside. The gaps narrowed as the line approached, and Leigh (31:13) only just held off a fast-finishing Cathy (31:14), with Victoria just three seconds adrift.
Sarah Richardson of the host club was fourth female, taking the veteran award (32:04). In ninth place, Bridgit Napleton was the first over 45 (34:35), also securing women’s team honours for London Heathside. Christine Meek of ESM/Ealing Triathletes took honours in the W55 class. 72 year old Jackie Stallwood of Datchet Dashers also ran a very creditable 45:00, leaving a quarter of the field in her wake.
The race always attracts a diverse range of participants: well over a third of entrants were Ealing residents, but many others travelled from across London and the Home Counties to take part. The biggest club entry – 39 runners - was from Ware Joggers in Hertfordshire.
There was good support from the local running scene: 35 Ealing Eagles, 31 from host club ESM and 10 from Ealing Triathletes, based at Gurnell Pool. There were also a good many first-timers from the recently-established Northala Fields parkrun, which is a free event every Saturday morning at 9am (parkrun.org.uk/northalafields).
One in four were casual runners, and the fastest male in the Borough unattached to a club was Tony Truepenny-Phillipson in 29:00. The fastest unattached local female was Liz Mann in 39:51.
The 5 mile race was followed by a 2km Fun Run for Under 15s, participants ranging from 6 to 13 years of age. Winner by a comfortable margin was 13 year old Naoki Kanai of ESM. 10 year old Christopher Hudson of Metros took second, closely followed by Dylan Foster of ESM, also 10. The first girl to cross the line was 13 year old Sarah Freegard of ESM, followed by 12 year olds Lani Charles and Amelia Sturt. It may have been a Fun Run, but there was some fierce competition. Rhianna Foster of ESM just held off Susannah Sturt in a final sprint, while it was eyeballs out all the way for Archie Cunningham as he edged past Saoirse Donoghue at the finish.