13,000 Runners Conquer A Challenge At Great Bristol 10K

The 2019 Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k will be staged on Sunday 5 May. The first 500 entries will be given a £5 discount. Enter the event at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k

13,000 runners of all abilities rose to the challenge when they conquered the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday.

The 10k offered participants an awe-inspiring route to be their greatest around the city centre, taking in the sights of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge.

Participants were set off in style by Winter Olympic bronze medallist Dom Parsons, who was fresh from coming third in the men’s skeleton race at PyeongChang in February.

Dom, who studies at the University of Bath, set the crowds on their way along Bristol Harbourside, with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Lesley Alexander.

Among the runners was Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, who was running as a guide for blind runner Chris Blackabee along with a group of visually impaired runners from VI Runners Bristol.

This was Marvin’s first 10k running event and he spoke about how his involvement with the visually impaired running community has inspired him.

He said: “Many congratulations and respect for everyone who took part today. This was my first 10k and I was blessed to be asked by Chris to accompany him around the course as his guide and be part of VI Runners Bristol’s group.

“It was a competitive field and despite this being my first 10k, I felt we did well to support each other and complete the course in good time.

“That to me is the great benefit of sport, it is a unifying force that brings people from all backgrounds and communities to participate, support and achieve together.

“I thank the event organisers for another successful Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k and to everyone who came to cheers us on, your support certainly made those kilometres pass a little quicker.”

They were also joined by a competitive club runner field, featuring some of the best runners from around the region. In the men’s race, Tom Merson from Exmouth Harriers AAC finished first in a time of 30:34, ahead of Phil Wylie from Cheltenham Harriers who crossed the line in 30:37.

They were followed by Hercules Wimbledon AC’s Jonathan Cornish in third with a time of 31:01. Ruth Barnes from Avon Valley Runners took first place in the women’s field in a time of 34:23, followed by Bristol and West AC’s Charlotte Taylor-Green in 35:00 and her clubmate Helen Newberry came third in 36:03.

Bristol charities were well represented, with the Grand Appeal, Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity fielding runners in both the 10k and the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Run.

There was also a 40-strong team of runners from Bristol SANDS, who are celebrating the charity’s 40th anniversary. 30 firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service also took to the streets in full firefighter’s kit while carrying a six-metre long ladder as part of their fundraising for three-year-old Daisy Bowyer.

Daisy suffers from cerebral palsy and relies on the use of a walking frame and wheelchair.

The firefighters hope to raise £20,000 for Daisy’s Dream to Walk, which will fund an operation to help her walk unaided. Daisy and her family also took part in the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Run after the 10k to raise awareness about her condition.

The mile-long Family Run featured 400 children taking on a shorter running route around Millennium Square. The 10k has a long-standing history and was first staged in 1989. It then joined the Great Run series in 2016.

The Great Run Company’s Andy Graffin said: “It has been a fantastic day at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k. Huge congratulations to everyone that took part and conquered their own personal goal today.

“We have worked closely with our partners to deliver the event and we’d like to say a big thank you to them and to the hundreds of local volunteers who have made the experience so memorable.

“The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k offers thousands of people the chance to be their greatest and experience their very own finish line moment.

“If anyone has been inspired by the efforts of participants today, there’s a chance for you to be a part of it again this year with the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon in September!”

Jayne Fearn, spokesperson for Simplyhealth, said: “From the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k in the morning, to the Family Run in the afternoon, it was great to see so many people making the most of life.

“We were there supporting runners every step of the way helping to kickstart their recovery with our new Simplyhealth Stretch Zone and free post run massage. Congratulations to everyone.”

This year’s Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon is to take place on Sunday 23 September.

Runners can enter today at: Greatrun.org/Bristolhalf

The 2019 Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k will be staged on Sunday 5 May. The first 500 entries will be given a £5 discount. Enter the event at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k