John Lunn 5K – Woodhouse Moor, Leeds – 20th July 2011

21/07/2011 – Greg Hull
The Hyde Park 5k series was rebranded as a single 5k race dedicated to Leeds City legend John Lunn who passed away last year. The race supports the British Heart Foundation with generous prizes supplied from LCAC sponsors Ronhill and a commemorative bottle of John Lunn 5k Race Ale for each finisher.

On the night it was drizzly but the racing was sparkling. Up front, 17 year old Gordon Benson gave eventual race winner Jorge Thomas some serious competition and was rewarded with a new junior course record of 15.23 as Jorge swiftly surged ahead on the last lap to clock the 15:02 winner’s time.

The women’s race was equally exciting as Leeds University student Jocelyn Payne (18:44) took the race on, gaining a narrow gap with one lap remaining which she managed to hold on to from Leeds Half Marathon winner Gemma Smith (18:54), and junior course record holder Laura Day (18:58).

The womens’ team race was dominated by Wetherby AC with a great turnout from their club. Until the aggregate times were calculated it seemed as if they would also run off with the 2nd team prize, however, Valley Striders three counters total time was just 13 seconds faster.

The mens’ race was a show of strength from the Leeds City men filling up the first three teams which Lunny would no doubt have been very vocal about. In fact the club turned out in strength with nearly a quarter of the entire field made up of Leeds City runners of all ages.

The age group categories provided some excellent performances, noteably from W50 Carole Schofield and M50 Mark Hall both within seconds of their respective course records. The performance of the night though has to go to George Buckley who absolutely clobbered the previous M70 record by nearly three and a half minutes and promptly donated his race bonus to the British Heart Foundation.

A big thank you to the willing group of volunteers, supporters and all the runners who made the event fun and successful.