Despite a cloudy start, the sun shone and this year’s Waterbeach Running Festival (11 May) was a record-breaking event with more people donning their running shoes than in previous years (nearly 800 registered), and around £4,500 raised for local charity Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup. The event saw over a thousand people enjoy a range of stalls and activities alongside the serious business of running and Waterbeach Brass Band played near the homeward stretch to encourage runners as they neared the finish line.
On the track, Tony Bacon successfully defended his title despite tough competition to take his fourth consecutive win in the 5km men’s race. The runner ups in last year’s 5km women’s race (Vicki Moignard) and 10km men’s race (David Mclean) won their events this year and the winner of the 10km women’s race (Emma Hodson) finished just 18 seconds behind David Mclean and was the second runner over the line.
The event, held at Waterbeach Barracks, covers a flat, off road course and many runners celebrated personal best times, including David Mclean, who said: “I came second last year, which was a big surprise and winning this year was even more unexpected. This time around one of the runners set out really fast and around four of us tried to keep up with him, he was opening up a gap on us after around 4k though. However, after accepting that I would come second something went wrong for him about 100 metres before the finish line and he started slowing down, which gave me the opportunity to overtake and take the win.
“I’m really delighted with the result, especially as I only started running a few years ago, having previously concentrated on cycling. Cycling is all about heart and lungs but running involves a lot more technique and finesse and I’ve learnt a lot training with some of the more experienced runners at Cambridge Triathlon Club.”
A number of runners had also taken up the NHS’s Couch to 5km challenge and were delighted with their achievements. Anyone who does not exercise much at the moment and would like to increase their fitness levels and enter next year’s Waterbeach Running Festival, can find out more at www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/. It’s never too early to start training!
Event organisers, Jessica Kitt, Vikki Ashcroft and Mim Christensen, with support from a team of volunteers, ensured the running events ran smoothly, while friends and family of competitors had plenty to entertain them between races in the Festival Village. This included a children’s area with bouncy castle and slide, a cake stand, food and drink vendors and a variety of stalls including natural skincare products from Tropic Skincare and EF encouraging local families with a spare room to host visiting foreign students.
Wayne Badcock from Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup said: “The Waterbeach Running Festival is a lot of hard work and it’s going from strength to strength with each year bigger and better that the year before. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained, whether they are racing or just out to enjoy a fun community event. We’d like to thank everyone who attended, all our volunteers and our sponsors who have helped us raise £4,500, so we can continue to provide great childcare support in Waterbeach.”
The Waterbeach Running Festival is sponsored by Spectacular, Breheny, Douglass Digital, Ede & Ravenscoft, Tesco, OneStop Waterbeach, Decathlon, Wild Thyme and Embers, CPA Ely, Pharmacie Café, BuggyBootCamp and Urban&Civic, master developer for Waterbeach Barracks, who provide the venue, support and sponsorship funding.