The inaugural Great Donington Run saw top runners included in the 2000 participants to test themselves over the iconic Donington Park race circuit

Chris Thompson and Sonia Samuels were among the winners when the inaugural Great Donington Run took place at the iconic Donington Park race circuit on Sunday (June 26).

Around 2000 runners of all ages and abilities took the exclusive opportunity to run on the famous course across a variety of distances including 10-mile, 10km, and 5km.

The Great Donington Run, which also included a Donington Summer Cycle event and a Family Mile, saw 2014 European cross-country champion Gemma Steel in attendance to cheer on the runners as honorary starter.

great donington

With the 10km course record now set at 29:54 by 2010 European 10,000m silver medallist Thompson, runners looking to test themselves on an iconic course featuring hills and twists and turns now have a time to target ahead of next year’s event, for which a reminder service is now open at www.greatrun.org/Donington.

“It was a tough course, if it wasn’t for all of the spectators willing me on I don’t think I would have ran anywhere near that time,” said Thompson.

“There’s a tough hill out there and having to do it twice was a challenge, but I’m really happy with that time.”

chris thompson great donington winner

The 10km event also incorporated the ‘Fastest City Challenge’, where average times by runners from the three largest nearby cities – Leicester, Derby and Nottingham – were combined to see which has the fastest runners overall.

The winning city was Leicester, who will be walking away with the winners’ trophy for the second time this year.

Leicester’s runners had a combined average time of 59:01, ahead of Nottingham (61:03) and Derby (63:24).

Rio-bound marathon runner Samuels was first over the finish line in the 10-mile event, completing the route in 57:25.

Samuels, who ran the race as part of her Olympic preparations, said: “It was a really good course and it’s nice to be able to head out to my training camp with a good performance and time.

“The track was really sheltered and the support was good, which really pushed me on to get a good workout before Rio.”

Sonia Samuels great donington

Teenager Max Walk was winner of the 5km event, with the 16-year-old clocking 18:34.

In between events, runners and spectators were kept entertained with live music and activities such as face painting, balloon making and a climbing wall on site.

Given the undulating course, event organisers The Great Run Company are keen to challenge club runners to test themselves by taking to the tarmac of the Donington Park race circuit when the event returns in 2017.

“The Great Donington Run is the chance for families of all ages and abilities to come together and support each other on a great day of running, while enjoying all of the fantastic activities on site,” said The Great Run Company’s Vairi Smith.

“Whether they came to Donington Park to aim for a PB or to get the chance to run, jog or walk on the famous racetrack, or to raise money for worthy causes, all of our participants were the key to such an amazing day.

“Congratulations to each and every person who took part, wear your themed medal with pride and we look forward to seeing you in 2017!”

The date for the 2017 event is to be announced in the near future and the reminder service for the Great Donington Run is now open at www.greatrun.org/Donington.