Gunnersbury Park event attracted hundreds
Italian Paolo Natali made it back-to-back victories in the Ealing Eagles 10k on a perfect morning for racing at Gunnersbury Park.
A decision to reschedule the race from September meant it was only eight months ago that the Florence Marathon club member claimed the crown. And Natali, who lives in west London, produced another dominant performance to lead the 446-strong field home ina course record of 31.47.
Second place went to Jon Worcester, from Metropolitan Police Triathlon Club, in 34.06, while home team favourite Jose Manuel Pabon ran home third in 34.18.
Australian Emily Loughnan, from Chiswick-based West 4 Harriers, produced a stunning performance to finish first woman in 38.12. Last year’s winner Sian Thomas, of Chiltern Harriers narrowly missed out on emulating Natali’s feat, finished 17 seconds further back. Nora Mixova made it a second podium place for the hosts, finishing third in 39.59.
The predicted rain failed to materialise and a bright day with a light breeze made for perfect running conditions.
The Eagles formed just four years ago but the club has expanded to more than 400 members in the past year. And it listed more than 100 starters.
Race organiser Kieran Santry said:
“It was great to see so many Eagles of all different standards taking part and fantastic to bag a couple of podium places. It shows just how far the club has come in a short space of time.
“We were delighted by the response from local runners and the feedback from those who took part seemed positive. We had more than 40 volunteers who helped to make it all happen.”
Sponsors included Volvic – who provided drinking water – footwear supplier Profeet, Move Clinics, race pacing and kit specialists Xempo, estate agent Colin Bibra, retail group Musgraves and hydration technology firm Fitsip.
The Eagles also experimented with volunteer pacers for the first time and Santry was full of praise for them, particularly given many were pacing for the first time.
“Several people said they were really grateful to have the added motivation of knowing someone was keeping them on course for a target time, so it’s something we’ll almost certainly try again,” he added.
May 20, 2013