GALLERY: Runners battle the wind and rain to compete in Little Downham New Year’s Eve 10k

'Batman' Mark Turner and 'Robin' Leighton Barker of Ely Runners. Picture: ROB MORRIS

'Batman' Mark Turner and 'Robin' Leighton Barker of Ely Runners. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

More than 550 hardy runners braved the howling wind and rain to take part in the annual New Year’s Eve 10k in the Fens.

Beer for all runners at the 10k race. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Beer for all runners at the 10k race. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

Gusts in excess of 20mph whipped through the villages of Little Downham and Pymoor as hundreds of runners – and one octogenarian - lined up to take on the popular course.

The runners leaving the start line. Picture: ROB MORRIS

The runners leaving the start line. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

The winner of the race was Aaron Scott, of Notts AC, who completed the course in 32mins 29secs, followed by Ben Russell, of Liverpool Harriers, in 33mins 9secs and Thomas Stevens, of Cambridge and Coleridge, in 34mins 12secs.

First lady across the finish line was Eleanor Matthews, of CONAC, in 37mins 1sec.

Organisers said some 24 runners of pensionable age registered to take part in the event, with 553 runners completing the course.


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Course and event record holders are Will Clarke, of Cambridge Tri Club, in 30mins 5secs, set in 2009, and Felicity Milton, of Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies, in 34mins 20secs, also set in 2009.

At 72-years-of-age, Lavinia Seward, of March AC, was the oldest female competitor registered to take part. She finished the race in 1hr 2mins 37secs to finish in 489th place overall.

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But even her outstanding efforts were bested by the oldest competitor on the day, 80-year-old David Peck, of Newmarket CTC. David finished the race in 1hr 6mins 42secs, handing him 521st place overall but first place in his age category!

Gary Wilberforce was the top performer for host club Ely Runners, coming home in 12th place in a time of 36mins 31secs.

The race started at 11am in Little Downham’s Main Street and took competitors on an undulated tour of the surrounding fens of Pymoor before heading back into the village for the finish.

To encourage them on their way, the runners were serenaded by Roy Sloane, better known as the Cambridge Bagpiper, and every one who completed the course was presented with a bottle of British ale – except for those under 18, of course.

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