May 18 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Thousands of runners and spectators turned out last Sunday for this year’s highly-anticipated Crouch End Fun Run and Festival.
Festivities got underway with the adult’s 10km race, which began in Priory Park, Middle Lane, and took competitors through residential streets and parkland around Crouch End and Alexandra Palace.
Eastenders star Nitin Ganatra, who plays Masood Ahmed in the soap, took on the starter’s duties, sounding the horn to get the 10km race underway.
Highgate Harriers’ Duncan Burbidge won the men’s race, returning to Priory Park to cross the finish line in 34mins 30secs.
In the women’s contest, unaffiliated runner Kate Morris was victorious, recording a time of 41mins 14secs.
The adult’s race was followed by nine children’s races, ranging from under-six races for boys and girls to a mixed sex race for under-16s.
All of the children’s fun runs took place along a one-mile circuit within Priory Park.
Alexandra Park School pupil Harry Pinnick-Gray ran the quickest children’s time of the day, completing the under-16 mixed fun run in 4mins 44secs.
All competitors in this year’s events have until July to gather their sponsorship, with almost all the money raised going towards the running of the Hornsey YMCA.
Actress Michelle Collins carried this year’s Community Games torch and lit the lantern to mark the opening of the Games, as part of a ceremony which included a live performance of the song Nessun dorma.
The crowd of about 3,000 were also entertained during the day by live performances from singer Mari Wilson, as well as local band Rudeboy and Rascal, among others.
Hayley Ballard, race and festival director, said: “The Community Games field was amazing, it was so funny and busy all day.
“The adults and the kids were doing really silly stuff, such as space hopper races.”
Despite being in Virginia, USA, on a training course last weekend, Budgens owner Andrew Thornton refused to miss the 10km race, setting off in the early hours of the morning to coincide with the 9.30am start in Crouch End.
Sending a message to all those involved in this year’s race, he said: “We believe in community and this is such a great community event.
“While I may not be with you in person, you’ve all been with me in spirit as I ran through the rolling hills in the dark with my head torch!”