2018 credits

A very big thank you to all the volunteers, suppliers, athletes and spectators who made the 51st edition of the Victoria Park Open 5 miles such a success.

The pre-event team was very small but very capable. Vicky Fabbri sorted out the medals, led promotion of the event and was Lead Volunteer on the day. Stanley Greening graphic design created our amazing posters and coasters. Major Carr was instrumental in liaising with the council and navigating the race calendar; it gets busier every year. The other board members and particularly Dave Robinson and Faye Jeacocke, were also very helpful. Susan Leese sorted out the catering, drumming up the bakers, ordering all the bananas and checking our first aid kit provision. I’d like to have a bigger pre-event team next year, so if you’re interested in getting involved, please let me know.

On the day, Dave West was at the club bright and early, opening up and getting the course marking gear and wheelchair ramps out. Susan Leese and David Wilkey organised and ran the fantastic refreshment stand, ably assisted by Fiona Cobb, Marlis Haase and ex-chairman Ray Russo, with many of the volunteers also baking cakes. Ray also worked with Naomi Bourne to register everyone and take on the day entries. Mordi, Helen Goddard, Emma Robinson, Elliot Robinson and Cheryl Evans kept the bags secure, with Cheryl setting out the mile markers with Robert Skedgell too. Andrew Barrington, Chairman Dave, Fabien Lassonde and Brenda Puech were our fantastic lead cyclists and had quite a challenge, as the nice weather brought out the whole of east London into Victoria Park, making it a bit more of an obstacle course than usual. Chairman Dave also sorted out the prize money, helped set up, tidy up and lock up, with a million other jobs in between.

Out on the course were the magnificent marshals, led by Joyce Berry: Faye Jeacocke, who also makes sure our invoices get paid, Mandy Dohren, Emily Catmur, Ewan Cameron, Alison and Matt Walker, Mordi, Philippa Cockman, June Barrow-Green, Mick Cairns, Antonio del Valle, Phillippa Carr, Robert Skedgell, Joseph Hall, Tom and Joan Everitt, Fiona Cobb and Helen Goddard. At the finish were Len Williams, Richard Hale, Sim Bennett and Malcolm French, taking backup manual results (more on this later), Malcolm also being the UK Athletics Event Adjudicator. Photos were taken by Mandy Dohren, Sim Bennett and Neil Cook (I’m sure there are others too, please send me any good photos of the race starts).

Marlis Haase and Cate Boyle ran the water and banana stand, with Louise Vacher and Emma and Elliot Robinson joining them. The thermometer may have only reached 18°C, but it felt more like the mid-20s, so the water was vital, even in the middle of the race.

Loads of people helped to tidy up afterwards, including Laura Morgan and Robert Skedgell with the mile markers (sorry for sending you on a wild goose chase Robert), with Susan Leese, Marlis Haase, David Wilkey and David Robinson staying to the very end.

A big thank you too to Andy Bevan from First Aid Cover, who was our great cycle response medic and sweeper, making sure that everyone stayed safe and well throughout the day. We also had at least two doctors (Philippa and Mordi) and four first aiders (Susan Leese, David Wilkey and Ray Russo), which is very reassuring for any Race Director, particularly in hot weather.

Thanks to our suppliers, who were 4imprint for the commemorative coasters, The Race Organiser for chip timing, Stacy and Son for the race numbers and customademedals.co.uk for the medals.

We are also very grateful to Canary Wharf Group PLC for returning as the race sponsor and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for giving us permission to hold the race and making sure that the giant piles of soil that appeared on Wednesday were cleared from the carriageway.

Thanks also to the athletes and spectators who made the journey to Victoria Park, both locals and those from further afield. A particularly big thank you goes to our wheelchair athletes, who came from the other side of London and made sure that we didn’t have any empty races.

I hope that’s everyone; if I missed you out please contact me and I’ll update this post.

Hopefully see you again next year!

Joe Feltham Race Director

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