With weather forecasters predicting carnage from coast to capital, it was with a degree of trepidation that BHFR made its first official jaunt to the Pride 10k organised by London Frontrunners.
This long standing 10k race (in its 16th year) brought together LGTB clubs from the UK and beyond, as well as local clubs and allies. The race is a mixture of competition and well, outfits, all this year in aid of the clubs charity, Micro Rainbow International, which works globally to provide micro-finance for LGBTQ businesses as well as encouraging social support.
Held in Victoria Park, Hackney (surprisingly large when you’re at one end and the race starts the other!) the course is a flat, three and a bit circuit which could easily accommodate the 1000 or so runners. Organisation was first class with plenty of volunteers for the hq and bag drop etc, and access to the club room with free showers.
With gale force winds forecast, it was always going to be more sparkle than speed. Having said that the rain stayed off, and with us south coast runners used to a hearty westerly, some solid times were achieved and even the odd pb.
Damian M Brewer was first home in 43.43 and a fine age grade of 64.97%. Next home was Richard Pineles-West in around 47 minutes, he forgot his chip and number so his time was not officially recorded, and was nursing a good Friday night for most of the course, but none the less was great performance and helping getting Brighton and Hove Frontrunners noticed. Neil Harrison finished in 54.28, closely followed by Steven Chantrey in 55.12, with John Brown under the hour 59.10 and Ian Morris-Shek in 62.25.
Race prizes were dominated by local clubs, with London FR perhaps unsurprisingly winning the team prize – although this was evidently the first time in a fair few years. There was strong representation from other clubs too, with LGTB club the Birmingham Swifts having 30 runners, and strong contingents from Manchester and Scotland. Paris, Sydney and Rio were also seen in town.
After the race, most headed to the excellent after party set in a large beer garden in the park. As well as prize-giving, there were some interesting insights in to the work of the charity in developing LGTB businesses in more challenging environments. It was also a great opportunity to socialise and forge links with other clubs.
Whilst BHFR may not have won the costume prize (that went to the sunflowers) or been the largest contingent, our purple tops stood out and definitely got the thumbs up. I know many have attended this race previously in different guises (and costumes), but as BHFR we were the new kids in town and all were very keen to welcome us to the FR fold. Organisers made a particular point of giving us a mention on mic’s and a plug in media which was very much appreciated.
Overall a great day, much more than just a 10k and certainly worth the effort. Another one for the diary next year!
(Race report written by John Brown)