2016 Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run Race Report
12th April 2016
The 2016 Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run took place on the morning of Sunday 3 April in conditions more typical of Kingston, Jamaica than Kingston-Upon-Thames.
Over 2,000 participants took part and were greeted by clear blue skies, unbroken sunshine and temperatures in the late teens – perfect running weather whether they were kicking their season off with the 8.2 mile distance or preparing for marathon efforts with the 16.2 or 20.1 mile options.
The 20.1-mile runners – all 750 of them – were the first to line up at the start just before 8am. An energetic warm-up from the team at the Nuffield Health Surbiton Fitness & Wellbeing Gym and their special guest, Nuffy Bear, got the blood pumping and the legs moving, ensuring that everyone was raring to go when the klaxon was sounded.
After a second round of Nuffield Health warm-ups and words of encouragement from Mayor of Kingston, Roy Arora, the 8.2 and 16.2 mile runners followed half an hour later. They set off in 6, 7, 8 , 9, 10, 11 & 12 minute mile groups led by a small army of Human Race pacemakers that were on hand to make sure everyone hit their target times.
It was fantastic to see so many runners wearing Breast Cancer Care kit. Alongside many other participants, they had raised thousands of pounds for the official charity partner of the Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run. That total was added to on the day by all the generous donations at the Breast Cancer Care tent in the event village.
Out on the course, runners made their way through Kingston town centre, cheered on by plenty of supporters enjoying a more sedate start to Sunday morning, before following the banks of the Thames all the way to Hampton Court Palace. Here, they crossed the river and began their journey back towards Kingston.
On a warm day like this, keeping energised and hydrated was essential. Thankfully, Science in Sport were on hand at the various drinks stations around the course, keeping the runners going with their GO Gels and GO Energy Drinks.
Back in the Ancient Market Square, as the 16.2 and 20.1 mile runners set off on their second lap of the course, the 8.2 mile runners began to cross the finish line. First placed male finisher was Simon Tack, who crossed the line in 49:07. Shortly behind him was James Bowry in 49:27 and in third place was Adam Harwood who sneaked home in under 50 minutes, recording a time of 49:55.
Natalie Seymour was the quickest female over 8.2 miles, posting a time of 52:58. Second and third places went to Fiona Ford and Felicity Cole in times of 53:03 and 55:42 respectively.
It wasn’t long before runners were flooding across the line, the final metres of the home straight made that little bit easier by the sight of the Lidl team handing out their legendary goodie bags and the famous Lidl Kingston Breakfast Mugs to all finishers. Medals are soooo last year!
One of the great things about the Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run is the supportive atmosphere and camaraderie between the athletes regardless of ability or the distance being run. It was fantastic to see so many friends – old and new – crossing the finish line together. Despite their exertions, lots even managed a smile for the Sportcam photographers.
As the 8.2 milers continued to come home, the first of the 16.2 mile runners arrived at the finish. Robin Jones was the fastest male with his time of 1:33:07, one minute and eight seconds ahead of second placed Chris Whitcombe (1:34:15) who was followed by Stuart Macdougall in third place with a time of 1:39:58.
Justine Lynch was the female winner over 16.2 miles with her time of 1:52:09. Next was Isabel Clark in 1:53:45, with Natalie Thomas in the bronze mug position after recording 1:56:40.
Clutching their Lidl goodie bags, taking advantage of the massages on offer and making the most of the fun activities laid on by the teams from Breast Cancer Care and the Nuffield Health Surbiton Fitness & Wellbeing Gym, those that had finished created an electric atmosphere as the first of the 20.1 mile runners broke the tape.
In first place for the men with a blisteringly quick time and a new course record of 1:58:17 was Stuart Farmer, the only 20.1 mile runner to smash the two hour barrier. Nathan Smeaton, in second place, wasn’t far off with a time of 2:01:55, whilst Oliver Bowers came home in third place in a time of 2:05:26.
The women’s race was a close run affair, Julia Donovan’s 2:21:16 just quick enough to take first place ahead of Josie Hinton who finished in 2:21:55. In third position was Angela Armitage who crossed the line after 2:33:01.
With many runners having brought lots of supporters with them, noise levels barely dropped a decibel over the next couple of hours as every runner received a fantastic reception as they turned the corner onto the home straight. The effect was clear with some impressive sprint finishes on show.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the final finisher, rounding off another fantastic edition of one of Human Race’s longest-running events.
An enormous thank you to everyone that took part, all the event partners and the fantastic crew who between them made for a most memorable of days in the sunshine. See you in 2017 for another edition of the Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run… and if you can’t wait ‘til then, don’t forget entries are now open for the Nuffield Health Kingston Run Challenge in October!