The sun always shines on the Vitality Hackney Half Marathon and 2016 was no exception, with temperatures reaching 27°C. Now in its third year, the race had a record number of runners which included Run-Fast athletes Mark Kibiwott, Jonah Chesum and Hannah Walker.
Luckily for Mark and Jonah, they are used to training in the heat of Kenya and were unfazed by the climate. Having set out together, Mark soon eked out a lead over Jonah which quickly grew to leave both athletes running solo for most of the race. Mark crossed the line first with a comfortable win in 1:04:38, while Jonah secured the second spot in 1:07:47; a full minute ahead of the third finisher.
In her comeback appearance after nearly two years away from racing, Hannah took the win in the women’s race by over seven minutes. Whilst her time of 1:18:12 was a long way off her personal best and slower than she’d hoped for she was happy with the result, despite suffering in the heat.
Over in Nigeria at the Okpekpe International 10km, where the runners also had to deal with hot conditions, Run-Fast’s Polline Wanjiku stormed to victory in the women’s race in 33:28, well clear of second place fellow Kenyan Esther Chemtai. This marks the third international win for Polline this year. Team-mate Paskalia Chepkorir had a tougher time in the heat, finishing 5th in 35:01. Morris Gachaga was 5th in a very competitive men’s race in 30:14.
Two of Run-Fast’s top British male athletes were also competing on the international circuit this weekend. Dan Studley opened his outdoor track season with an impressive win in the 1500m at the Belfast International Meeting. Having stuck right behind the pacemaker, clocking off 60-second laps for 1200m, he found himself well clear of the field and crossed the line first in 3:45:77.
In Morocco, Pete Huck took part in the Corrida Internationale de Zagotta 10k. After a slightly chaotic start, where the rest of the elite field shot off before any official gun, Pete managed to regain the lost ground, coming 19th in 33:48. Whilst this a long way off his personal best, it later transpired that the course measured closer to 10.9k and so the time is not a reflection on what was a solid performance from Pete in a highly competitive race.