Olympic champ Shakes-Drayton cheers on Guardian Angels in Hackney half-marathon

Athletics champ
Shakes-Drayton with Mile End's Guardian Angels pupils after Hackney half-marathon r

Athletics champ Shakes-Drayton with Mile End's Guardian Angels pupils after Hackney half-marathon run - Credit: Anthony Upton

Hundreds of pupils taking part in the Schools Challenge part of the Hackney Half Marathon included Guardian Angels from London’s East End.

The youngsters from Mile End’s Guardian Angels Catholic Primary completed their half-marathon with a smile—then posed with east London’s Olympic athletics champ Perri Shakes-Drayton for a memorable school photo.

“I love the enthusiasm and vibe,” she said afterwards. “The sunny weather also helped.”

Thousands of spectators lined the route in the bright sunshine at Hackney Marshes last Sunday to cheer the youngsters crossing the finishing line for the last mile of their run.

They have been running a mile each weekend for the last 12 weeks to make up their overall half-marathon, along with 1,100 children taking part in the Schools’ Challenge from all over east London.

The race was staged the same day as the adults half-marathon—but the 13,000 grown-ups had to do it all in one go.

Matthew Kimutai led the adults to finish in a record 1hr 3mins, closely chased by Sammy Nakoye just five seconds behind.

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Katy Webster was fastest woman 14 minutes later in 1hr 17mins, while the wheelchair race was won by Doug Stone in just over 1hr 54mins.

The children’s and adult races were officially started at Hackney Marshes by Shakes-Drayton, double European indoor champion in 400m hurdles.

The atmosphere was as much a carnival celebration as it was a race, with tens-of-thousands turning out to cheer the runners and waving banners.

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