Who’s Harry Hawkes?

Harry Hawkes was a real life man who lived in Thames Ditton in the early 1900’s and had a really cool name.  His Dad ran a bottling factory producing Ginger Beer and mineral water, and Harry was the captain of the Thames Ditton Cricket Club 2nd Eleven for 10 years.

Why is this important?

Well, in 1984, back when I found Button Moon more interesting than lycra, the cricket club launched an 8 mile race and named it after Harry (his really cool name probably had a lot to do with it).  It was a race that quickly established itself and ran (excuse the pun) for 26 years.  Even my Dad had heard about the Harry Hawkes race and he lives over 100 miles away!

After a 2 year break, the race was re-launched as a 10 mile event and a few of the Chasers found ourselves entering this year.  10 miles is a great distance, possibly my favourite.  By the time you even think about flagging there’s only a couple of miles left anyway, there’s none of that ‘no mans land’ you get in a half marathon.

Spot the Chasers!

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The race started on Giggs Green by the cricket club (which I think is 175 years old, one of the oldest in the country) and looped round Thames Ditton (adding the extra 2 miles) before continuing along the towpath by the river, crossing Kingston Bridge and heading back along Hampton Court Towpath, past the Palace, and back on the 2 mile loop to the finish on the Green.

The route is on mixed terrain but is flat and fast and very pretty along the river, I wish I had a camera!

It was smiles all round as Andy took the win (by over 3 mines) AND the course record by over 4 minutes, and the boys took the team prize for the top 4.  There were also some PBs despite the warm, sunny weather.  I, however, was so far behind everyone I actually missed the team photo at the end…I fully intend to be faster in the next race and photobomb at every opportunity I find!

Winners and more winners

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Although I was slower than usual, I’m attempting to follow the P&D marathon plan (in preparation for Amsterdam) which meant Sunday’s run was a mix of marathon pace and an easy pace rather than running as fast as possible.  Not only did I achieve that, but it meant I very much enjoyed the run too!

It was a beautiful sunny day so we hung around afterwards for the post race BBQ the cricket club put on (although, disappointingly, there were no vegetarian options, only burgers and bacon) and enjoyed the atmosphere.

The Harry Hawkes 10 is highly recommended.  It’s well organised, on a lovely course, with fantastic marshals and has a great local feel about it – if you fancy a flat, fast and scenic 10 miler in the Summer make sure you join us next year.

Cheers Harry!

http://www.harryhawkes10.com/

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