FROM THE PULPIT OF FATHER ONN
You won’t be surprised to learn that The Straggler’s Wedding Day 7K has been cancelled. As it would have been the 40th running we are saving this special number till 2021.
To raise funds for our 2020 charity the "Vineyard Community" in Richmond we have set up the FREE to participate virtual event called "The Secret 7K".
The Wedding Day race is run annually over a 7km course in Bushy Park in Middlesex. It has introduced several young athletes to the ways of winning including Olympians Sonia O' Sullivan, Sir Mo Farah and Scott Overall, the last 2 who both won the junior category. Scott went to win as a Senior. It all started in 1982 and is an integral part of the South West London Road Racing Calendar
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Start time - 7:30pm Pack Collection from circa 6:00pm
The course is flat and fast so a Personal Best is possible.
Accurately measured licensed course
Chip Timing - time you cross the line to the time you finish
Bespoke Tee Shirts to all finishers
Bushy Park Hampton Hill KT12 1NB
Look out for the Library and Sainsbury’s. The closest gate is called Hampton Hill New Gate. From there follow the crowd!
The closest BR station is Fulwell, on the Shepperton branch from Waterloo, normally via Kingston.
Busses - Numbers 285 R68 pass by the park (Holly Road stop).
Please park with consideration for residents and consider using public transport or parking further way and making the final part of the journey on public transport.
Each number has a detachable baggage tag. You can leave clothing at the baggage tent.
There will be very limited changing facilities and we therefore recommend that runners come ready to race.
Unfortunately, there are no shower facilities. There are toilets at the Cricket Club and at the United Reformed Church (which is close to the start)
Your timing chip is in its own envelope with a couple of ties. These are within the race pack. There are instructions as how to attach the chip on the chip envelope
Chip Return - Don’t disappear with your chip. There will be people in orange bibs to help you remove the chip. If you find you still have your chip please hand it in at the club house.
It is a flat, mixed terrain course in Bushy Park.
The course is not suitable for wheelchairs, prams or pushchairs.
Prizes will be awarded to the first three men and women, first W35, M40, W45, M50, M60, W55, Local Man and Woman, Team Competitions and Mob Match Plate
Prize winners are only eligible to receive one individual prize.
Professional first aid cover will be available to provide medical support if necessary.
If you have a medical condition that will need consideration should you be taken ill, during the race, please write the details on the back of your race number. If you feel unwell before the race, or have not been well for a few days prior to the event, please do not start: remember there is always another year and another race.
On completion of the race, drinks and food will be available to purchase in the clubhouse.
There is usually a festive atmosphere after the race with many people picnicking on the field in front of the clubhouse, so please feel free to stick around, socialise and soak up the great post race atmosphere
T-shirts are Small, Medium, Large and X Large. Numbers have a small S M L or X to indicate your choice (not so anyone who had transferred where the original size is retained).
Pack will be distributed on the grass outside, if dry, or in the club house if wet. These are in alphabetic surname order and we plan to have four “stations” A-D, E-K, L-R and S-Z just like the old London telephone directory. Rather than having a single long queue please line up in the queue appropriate to your surname.
The informal children’s fun run will start at approx. 7:35 close to the main start.
Please respect other park users be they on four legs or two or on wheels.
Ticks and Things: - If you plan to stay for the post race Wedding Breakfast then consider including some mozzie repellent in your kit bag. Have a great run.
The organisers will endeavour to proceed with the race under all circumstances, but if for any reason beyond their control, including extreme weather conditions making the course unsafe, or advice from the Police or the independent race referee, they reserve the right to delay the start, to postpone or to cancel the race. In the event of cancellation, the organisers regret that entry fees will not be refunded as all revenue will be committed to suppliers and race administration.
Postcode to the start KT12 1NB
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Why the Wedding Day 7k? – An historical synopsis.
1981- HRH Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married. The Royal Wedding took place on the 29th July and the day declared a public holiday.
In celebration the nation organised street parties and community events throughout the land.
The nuptials, when announced coincided with the embryonic emergence of mass participation running initiated by the arrival of the New York Marathon and the 1981 First London Marathon.
So called new breed of running clubs started to appear at this time one of which was the London Road Runners Club, and it was from their original officers Lynn and Dave Billington, Lesley Watson, Lawrence Brampton and Will Chapman that the idea of a Royal Wedding Day Race was generated.
Lynn and Dave Billington took up the challenge of organising the event with a group of running friends who met at The Star public House in Hampton Hill Middlesex. They initially considered that it should be a 10k race within Bushy Park adjacent to the pub and it is of course a Royal Park and would therefore most apposite.
However legend has it that whilst running around the park to find an appropriate 10k course they decided that certain decisions needed to be reviewed and so returned to The Star for ‘refreshment’ and further discussion. The longer the refreshment went on the more they decided that perhaps what they had was enough and the Wedding Day 7k was born.
The first race was won by AFD’s Neil Blaney with Kathy Binns of Sale taking the Ladies title.
The race was organised by LRRC for a couple more years with assistance from The Stragglers Running Club who eventually took over the running of the event in we believe 1985.
The 1981 event was an instant success and has been well supported ever since maintaining its Wedding Day theme. Indeed, it has celebrated Will and Kate’s Wedding in 2011 and last year featured that of Harry and Meghan.
2019 will be the 39th running of the race and it has seen many illustrious names amongst its winners. The early years had international athletes Grenville Tuck, Bernie Ford, Peter Clarke, Jon Solly, Gary Staines, Richard Nerurkar and Sam Haughian. More recent international performers such as Craig Mottram, Scott Overall and Sonia O’Sullivan have taken the honours. Sonia, though a regular ladies race winner, has also been on one occasion the only lady to also be an overall race winner.
Mo Farah won the Junior race here on two occasions and Scott Overall has won at both junior and senior levels.
Previous Lady winners include Margret Mottram, Marina Samy, Ann Ford, Paula Fudge and many other fine club athletes.
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Wedding Day 7K Management team
Meet the people behind the Wedding Day
Keith and his moustache have been running with The Stragglers since before they were called The Stragglers. He ran the first Wedding Day and has only missed one since. He was instrumental in taking over the organisation when the London Road Runners ceased.
Every Wedding Day needs a priest and Father Onn has officiated on more that 20 Wedding Days without interruption. He's very much from the sandals and stripey socks branch of the church normally topped off with a straw hat.
Contact us if you have any questions.