The streets of Aylesbury were once again awash with runners on Boxing Day for our 57th annual Boxing Day 5k race, sponsored by Up & Running Oxford. There was a great turnout by both serious runners and those running off Christmas excesses and 230 runners completed the 2 lap course in and around the town centre. Race conditions were good and relatively mild for the time of year; no icy paths for anyone to worry about.
Last year’s winner, Owain Jones from Bristol & West AC took the coveted trophy again, this year completing the course 15:31, 15 seconds faster than 2015. His time is a new course record on the revised 5km route, held since 2011. He was followed by two previous winners, Fabien Downes from Chiltern Harriers who was 2nd in a time of 15:47, and Simon Coombes of Leighton Buzzard, 3rd in 16:27.
The ladies race was won by Helen Eastham of BRAT for the second time in three years in a time of 18:48, beating off former two times winner Tracy Galbraith who won both her races on the old 6.5k course. Tracy finished in 20:32 and Vale’s Alice Wright was third in 20:51.
Fist Vale runner to complete the course was Alex Walker in 5th spot (16.33) followed by Charlie May in 6th (17:11). Max Perry was our next to cross the line in 9th place (18:00) and was first U15 boy to finish.
As always, Vale gave prizes across the age ranges and amongst others, prizes went to Julia Austin, Rosanna Iannone, Anna Cuthbert, Rebecca Lee, Ben West, Phil Gray, Tim O’Callaghan and James Watson. A full list of race results and prize winners is available on the Boxing Day page of the website.
The day consisted of two further events, a one-mile race which this year was won by Howard Waller (V50) of Oxford City in 6.18 with Andrew Stewart, also V50 of Chiltern Harriers 2nd in 6.44. Sharon Davidson of Purple Patch Runners was 3rd in 7:12 and congratulations go to Chris Travers, an U15 runner who finished in 7:30.
Last but certainly not least is the 800m race for U11 athletes and younger, with parents if needed, which was 4 laps of the Market Square. This years’ winner was Kitty Galbraith who finished in 3:36. Vale’s Ethan Perry was 2nd in 3:45 and Bartlett Quinlan 3rd.
Vale of Aylesbury AC would like to thank Up & Running Oxford for their Sponsorship together with The Kingsbury Pub who provide a very welcoming HQ for the Club and competitors as well as a voucher for all runners. We must also thank the marshalls and officials who do a sterling job every year watching out for everyone; their work was recognised in a report the Club has received from the UKA Event Adjudicators who summarised by saying that the popular event was a well organised and marshalled race.