Best year ever as charity run continues to scale the heights
By Charlotte Newton YOU may be one of life s more mature characters, or even a famous face, but that s no excuse for avoiding the Crouch End 10k. Or at least that s what actress Sophie Thompson, an 80-year-old retired orthopaedic surgeon, and BBC breakfas
By Charlotte Newton
YOU may be one of life's more mature characters, or even a famous face, but that's no excuse for avoiding the Crouch End 10k.
Or at least that's what actress Sophie Thompson, an 80-year-old retired orthopaedic surgeon, and BBC breakfast presenter Sian Williams proved when they joined almost 3,000 runners for the 18th Crouch End 10k and fun run, on Sunday.
A further 1,021 children aged four to 16 also took part in a one-mile run.
Ms Williams, who is a BBC breakfast presenter and Muswell Hill resident, sacrificed the opportunity for a rare lie-in by agreeing to start the race in Priory Park at 10am.
Ms Williams, 43, said: "The Crouch End 10k shows that there is still a very keen community spirit in this area.
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"I started a race that had more than 1,000 runners in it, all of whom had family and friends supporting them. The sun even came out. It was a lovely event to support. My son - at home revising for his GCSEs this year - ran the fun run in the past and really enjoyed it.
"This event is not just for Hornsey YMCA, but for four other local children's charities - which is why it is so worthwhile. There was also so much support from local traders - with Dunn's providing free doughnuts and Budgens sponsoring the event. Everyone came together on the day."
Former Eastenders star Sophie Thompson, sister of actress Emma Thompson, completed the hilly 10k race around Priory Park and Ally Pally with 1,200 equally intrepid runners.
Ms Thompson said: "I live in East Finchley, but one of the guys I worked on Eastenders with suggested that I ran the 10k race. I'm chuffed to bits to have taken part."
An 81-year-old orthopaedic surgeon also showed that age is no barrier to athletic prowess, by completing the arduous, and very hilly, course in one hour and 24 minutes.
Geoffrey Walker, who lives in Highgate, said: "It was very good but the two hills were agonising.
"I jog every morning in Highgate, but unfortunately that means I always finish uphill. I really enjoy racing. I did the Blackpool fun run last week and I flew out to Ethiopia last year to run a 10k there, but then it was cancelled at the last minute.
"The Crouch End 10k is a wonderful community event."
A team of 40 customers and staff from Thornton's independently-owned Budgens store, also took part.
Andrew Thornton, owner of the store, completed the 10k race and his two sons Rory, 11, and James, 13, ran the one-mile fun event.
Mr Thornton said: "The second hill was hard, particularly by Ally Pally station. It's a wonderful event to be involved in.
"Our team raised £5,000 last year and I'm confident that we will surpass that figure this year."
Postman Eddie O'Sullivan, 42, raised a few smiles along the course with his flamboyant Superman outfit.
Mr O'Sullivan, who grew up in Haringey but now lives in Hertfordshire, said: "I've done the Crouch End 10k most years. It's a brilliant event and I like to think I do it for the O'Sullivan family, who grew up all around here.