Sunshine and Smiles at Watford 10k

The Watford 10k 2011 took place on 2nd May in Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods in brilliant sunshine. 1440 runners signed up to take part, almost a 30% increase on 2010’s figure. 1089 runners registered for the 10k, 101 for the 3k and 250 for the 1k. Race Director Antony Stivala from Watford Round Table was extremely happy with the turnout:

 ‘The Watford 10K is Watford Round Table's primary fundraising event. I am very grateful for all the hard work put in by the organising committee to ensure a well-run and well-promoted event. £2000 of sponsorship is already pledged and we hope this will increase significantly by the sponsorship prize deadline of 3rd June.’

 The winner of the Watford 10k was Nick Shasha in a time of 33 minutes 12 seconds, just 2 seconds slower than the 2010 winner. Shasha, who recently won Bronze for Great Britain in the European Duathlon Age Group Championships in Limerick, said the race was ‘more like a boxing match than a running race’ and was decided in the last 100 metres.

 Veteran Men’s winner for the 8th time was Nigel Rackham of Metros in a time of 34 minutes. 48-year old Rackham, who runs home to Pinner from the City of London as part of his training, said it was ‘great to see family and friends running’, including his wife Judy who was very pleased with her pb.

 The 10k Senior Ladies’ winner was Sarah Fensome in a time of 43 minutes 24 seconds.  However the Veteran Ladies (over 35) had the edge this year: all three Veterans on the podium finished ahead of the Senior winner. Veteran Ladies’ winner, Sandra Reynolds, came in on 41 minutes 58 seconds.  Reynolds, 40, who trains with Chiltern Harriers and lives in Hazelmere, said it was her first race for a year as she has a two-year-old, and she was quite pleased with her time.

 The winner of the 3k for the second time running was Lewis Hawkins in the 13-15 Boys category, in a time of 10 minutes exactly. The Bishop Ramsey pupil trains at Harrow AC and this is his last year in the 3k. Girls’ 13-15 winner was Emma Flude on 12:43. However she was pipped by the 10-12 Girls winner Lauren Clarkson, who came in at 12:34. Lauren also trains at Harrow and studies at Queens’ School Bushey. In the 10-12 Boys, Ricardo James of St Albans AC won with 11:01.

 Ben Rose-Senior, another Harrow AC member and West Lodge School, Pinner, pupil won the 1k Boys with a time of 4 minutes 6 seconds. Ella Harrington, a pupil at Sacred Heart School in Bushey, made it four titles for Harrow by winning the Under 10 Girls in 4 minutes 16 seconds.

 Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, operator of The National Lottery, was the gold sponsor of the event for the third year running. Tom Cridland, Chief Treasury Analyst at Camelot, who ran the race, commented:  

 ‘The atmosphere was really lively – loads of people cheering us all on at the start and especially in the last 2 km when we came back into the park!’

 Sarah Maling, Fundraiser from Watford Mencap, was euphoric about the friendly atmosphere and positive support for the charity in its Diamond Jubilee year. ‘Watford Mencap receives no funding from national Mencap so we hope everyone will send in as much sponsorship as possible – there are prizes for people in each age group. This race helps us to support 150 children with a learning disability who have fun at our Children’s Centre in North Watford. Round Table has supported us for more than 50 years and we are very grateful to all the Tablers who have worked so hard.’

 The sponsor of the 1k fun run for under-10s was the Mothercare Group Foundation, and Simone Spencer-Ahmed from Mothercare presented the trophies to the children. Bronze sponsors were Everyone Active and the Esporta Riverside Club, who led the warm-ups. Also supporting the race were Watford Football Club and Harry the Hornet, who came to enjoy the fun, Cotswold Outdoor, Laura Dent Sport Therapy and Up and Running. Volunteers from local charities, and young people from Rickmansworth School raising money for their World Challenge, staffed the stalls and acted as marshals.

 To show runners another example of where the run’s proceeds would be used, Watford Round Table officially presented a mobility scooter to Watford Shopmobility.

 Photos can be viewed on and results on

Posted on Wednesday, 4th May 2011