The world's first Kilomathon saw thousands of entrants come from all over the UK and Ireland and attracted runners from European countries such as Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, and the Netherlands. Some had even travelled from as far as the United Arab Emirates, Canada, USA and Brazil, such was the attraction of the opportunity to run in this unique road race event and Scots placed second in both the men's and women's events.
Paisley's Christopher Wilson just missed out on becoming the first ever Kilomathon world record holder on Sunday, March 14 the Ron Hill Cambuslang athlete finished only three seconds behind winner Martin Williams in a time of 1hr 26mins 03secs. In what proved to be an extremely tight race from the start in Nottingham to the finish in Derby, Wilson had been in front until they reached the home strait where the 32 year old from Wolverhampton, who also won the 2009 Edinburgh Marathon while qualifying for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, overtook him to claim the world record with a time of 1hr 26mins 00secs. Tim Hartley placed third with a time of 1hr 27mins 14secs.
Edinburgh AC's Jennifer Maclean missed out by just 45 seconds to 34 year old Sarah Harris from Long Eaton who took the women's title with an impressive time of 1hr 39mins 19secs, with Christine Howard from Matlock taking third place in 1hr 42mins 23secs.
We asked Jenny Maclean to share her experience with our readers:
"They say that a Kilomathon is the 'easy' bit of a marathon, but that doesn't stop it being a full on challenge. The Nottingham - Derby course is pretty flat & potentially fast, but was made more difficult on the first attempt by a stiff & unrelenting headwind and also for me by the lack of long distance training & the effects of a good hard race at the Inter-Counties Cross Country in Birmingham the previous day. Despite breaking all the 'rules', I had a great race and was thrilled to finish second woman and 14th overall. Another great thing about a Kilomathon is the speed with which the km markers appear - a great boost to motivation. I'm looking forward to getting another crack at the distance when the race comes up to Edinburgh in October."
The Kilomathon got underway at 9am with 4,200 runners setting off from outside the Nottingham University grounds on a dry, bright day with temperatures around 11°C. The race took the participants towards Long Eaton and on through Draycott before passing through the very scenic grounds of Elvaston Castle. The final stages saw the competitors travel down Shardlow Road and through the village of Alvaston before heading along London Road to the finish line close to Pride Park Stadium in Alvaston Park.
Geoff Sims, Chief Executive of GSi Events, organisers of the Kilomathon, commented:
"The first Kilomathon has been a fantastic success. We wanted to create a road race that would be recognised as 'the perfect race distance' and thanks to the amazing support of all of those who have been involved - the runners, the volunteers, the spectators, local authorities and our sponsors, we believe that Kilomathon England has laid the foundations for a new classic race format. The future could see hundreds of thousands of people around the world running Kilomathons every year as well as Marathons and Half Marathons."
Kilomathon England 2010, which was sponsored by Strathmore Water, ZipVit Sport, Heart 106, Inchcape Toyota, Derby Conference Centre and Virgin Active, is aiming to raise up to £1 million for over 80 charities including the four official charities Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hope for Children, and Rainbow's Children Hospice. In total, 4,186 runners completed the first ever Kilomathon. During the race, participants ate around 5,000 bananas, drank almost 35,000 bottles of water provided by sponsor Strathmore Water and consumed over 4,000 Zipvit energy gels.
Following the overwhelming success of Kilomathon England 2010, preparation is now underway for the next event in the 26.2km road race series which will take place on October 3, 2010 in Scotland. There are still a few places available for Kilomathon Scotland which will be starting and finishing in the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston and going over the spectacular Forth Road Bridge. Anyone interested in taking part should visit www.kilomathon.com for more details and to register.