Wednesday, 17 August 2022

I only ran for fun, says 10km winner

A FUN runner won the Henley Standard 10km on Sunday at his first attempt

A FUN runner won the Henley Standard 10km on Sunday at his first attempt.

Stephen Lamacraft, 40, of Northfield Avenue, Shiplake, came home in a time of 40 minutes and 15 seconds, more than 90 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

He was one of more than 320 runners of all ages and abilities who completed the race, while at the same time 665 more serious athletes finished the 34th annual Henley half marathon.

The races, which are organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge, started and finished at Borlase Field, next to Henley Rugby Club.

The main race followed a route over Henley Bridge, along Remenham Lane to the Flower Pot pub at Aston, back along the towpath and over the bridge.

The runners then went along Marlow Road, up Icehouse Lane to Fawley, down Fawley Hill and then back to the start via Fair Mile. The 10km course followed the second section of the course from Marlow Road.

A section of Marlow Road and Bell Street, New Street and Riverside and the lane leaving the town over the Henley Bridge were closed to traffic.

The day also featured the Go Kids One Mile Challenge in which more than 110 children and parents took part.

The 10km runners were started by Henley Mayor Julian Brookes at about 9.25am. Five minutes later it was the turn of the half marathon runners who were started by Tim Dickson, a fund manager with race sponsors Invesco Perpetual, who then joined the race.

The conditions were ideal with autumn sunshine throughout the races.

Mr Lamacraft, a fund manager with Woodford Investment Management in Oxford, said: “I enjoyed it. I run recreationally but I’m not a member of a club or anything like that.

“When I run I do 40 minutes so I’m sort of running 10km anyway.

“I just thought I’d come along and support the local 10km. My brother Ross did the half marathon. Real men do the half, upstarts do the 10km!

“It was a nice race with good conditions and it’s a lovely course.”

Toby Cole, who lives off Wargrave Road, Henley, finished second in 41 minutes and 53 seconds.

Mr Cole, who is the son of the late Minder actor George Cole, who lived near Stoke Row, was supported by his children Harry, nine, Thomas, five, and Amelia, seven.

He said: “Having tried several times before, it was nice to get in the top three. It was a beautiful day and a great race and course.”

Adam Hunt, 13, a pupil at Shiplake College, who was running for Tri Henley, was third overall and won the under-15s boys’ title.

The half marathon was won by Matthew Richards in a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 45 seconds.

Mr Richards, 29, from Hackney, finished third in last year’s race and said: “I’m over the moon. I was confident because I won the Maidenhead half marathon last month so I’m in good form. In fact, I’m unbeaten this season.”

He was supported by his girlfriend Sarah White and father Tony and said: “I try to do lots of local runs because my dad still lives in Hurst.”

The runner-up was eight-times winner Ben Reynolds, 52, a former Henley resident who now lives in Harwell.

He finished in a time of one hour, 15 minutes and 45 seconds.

Mr Reynolds said: “I’m pleased to be second but a little bit disappointed with the time. I think that’s about two minutes slower than last year but at 52 anything in the medals is good, isn’t it?

“It was a lovely day for it but I just couldn’t go fast enough. The leader got away after about 200 yards so he had to run the whole race on his own. I know the race so well. I love it and it’s a good course. I like to come back to test myself and measure my decline!”

Miriam Jones-Walters, 27, from Wallingford, was the first woman home.

Many of the participants in the 10km race were local people.

Louisa Clarke and her 14-year-old son Michael, of Damer Gardens, Henley, were taking part in the race for a fourth year.

She said: “We were a bit faster than we were last year. It was just a beautiful day and there was a really nice atmosphere.” Jessica Princivalle and her nine-year-old son Oscar, from Henley, went round the whole course together.

She said: “Oscar ran nearly all of it and walked just a little bit.”

Ben Horner, Luca Thomson and Isabel Rigby, all nine, were representing Trinity Primary School.

Luca said: “It was my first ever 10km and I pushed myself really hard. It was really tough.”

Isabel said: “My legs were exhausted and I got a piggyback twice!”

In the half marathon James Quigley, of Northfield Road, Shiplake, finished in two hours, 56 minutes and 26 seconds.

The 18-year-old, who has Down’s Syndrome, only took up running last year. He was raising money for Kidscape, a charity which equips young people, parents and professionals with the skills to tackle bullying.

He said: “I loved it. My parents said they were reallly proud.”

Zoe Lane, 42, from Henley, finished in a personal best time of two hours, 14 minutes and six seconds.

She was running for the Henley-based charity Headway Thames Valley, where she is the fund-raising manager.

Mrs Lane said: “I’m so pleased. I have to say it’s the best run I’ve had. It was tough but I did enjoy it.

“Running for Headway kept me going — it was great motivation. Working for the charity, you meet all the people who are affected by brain injury and see what a difference we can make to their everyday lives. It’s a fantastic charity.”

Simon Ellison, of Grove Road, Henley, completed the race with Run Henley.

He said: “[Fawley] hill is very, very hard but then it is quite nice because you finish with four miles downhill.” Richard Staite and Anna Troup, of Lambridge Wood Road, Henley, also took part. Mrs Troup said: “It was a beautiful day. Everybody was chatting on the way around and it’s a really supportive race with people helping each other.

“But if you’re not local that hill comes as quite a shock!”

Geoff Parr and Martin Jones ran on behalf of the Heights Primary School in Caversham, which their children attend. Mr Parr’s wife Kerry completed the 10km.

Mr Jones said: “I’m doing the New York marathon in the first weekend of November so it’s a warm-up for that.”

Bill Feeney, Kevin Jacob and Adrian Sterjo, all from Henley, ran for Badgemore Primary School.

Mr Sterjo tackled the half marathon, while his colleagues, who are school governors, completed the 10km.

Former Reading FC captain Ady Williams ran the half marathon for the first time after registering on the morning of the event.

The BBC Radio Berkshire presenter said: “It’s such a beautiful morning and I can use it as a training exercise.”

Shiplake Primary School’s Parent, Teacher and Friends Association had 12 runners taking part in one or other race.

Another 35 children ran the Go Kids One Mile Challenge, which organisers hope will become an annual event.

Together, they raised £3,000 which will go towards equipment at the school and experiences for the children.

Cath Moulds, a member of the association, said: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and managed to make it round their course. It was a phenomenal effort from the team and a best ever in terms of fund-raising. 

“Thanks to our fantastic team of supporters, to everyone who so generously sponsored us and to the Rotary Club and Go Kids for a superb morning.”

Stefan Gawrysiak, president of the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge, said: “The weather was magnificent, which was a real bonus.

“The event was really well organised and I hope we’ll raise a lot of money for charity. People come for the challenge but I think they like the friendliness of the event too.”

The Mayor said: “It’s a great event. It adds to the activity in the town and puts Henley on the map. To see so many people taking part is very encouraging.”

The main beneficiaries were the RNLI and Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

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