Great Eastern Run

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Great Eastern Run
Great Eastern Run Logo.jpg
Great Eastern Run Logo
Date October Annually
Location Peterborough, United Kingdom
Event type Road
Distance Half marathon
Course records 1:01:40 (men)
1:11:52 (women)

The Perkins Great Eastern Run is a running event that takes place every year in Peterborough, United Kingdom, generally in mid-October. The event returned in 2006 after a 10-year absence and is rapidly gaining popularity. Currently, there are three races in the whole event:

Half Marathon – A 21.0975-kilometre (13.1094 mi) race which winds its way through the city's streets

Fun run – A 4 km run which starts and finishes at the same place as the half marathon

Wheelchair Race – This follows the same route as the half marathon

Despite its name, the Great Eastern Run is not a part of the Great Run series of events, which includes the Great North Run.

History of the Event[edit]

The first Great Eastern Run took place in 1982, boasting only a half marathon. The event was much less popular and well-known than it is today. This format existed for well over a decade, until 1996, when the half marathon vanished and was replaced with two different events: A 10km run around the East of England Showground and a shorter race known as the Arthur Bowden 5.[1] With so few events, the Run became less and less popular and gradually deteriorated into almost nothing.

However, the Great Eastern Run was relaunched in 2006 with the half marathon returning as the main event, much to the delight of keen runners across the country. Roughly 3,000 runners took part in the whole event.[2] A prize list totalling to roughly £11,000 was announced, taking the race into the top five in the country for total prize money.[3] Perkins Engines announced that they would sponsor the 2006 race – the deal has been so successful that the company still sponsors the Great Eastern Run today.[4] At the 2006 England Athletics East Region Awards, the Great Eastern Run's committee (consisting of Peterborough City Council, Perkins Engines and local running clubs) won the Athletics Partnership of the Year Award.[5]

Due to the success of the 2006 event, the Great Eastern Run took place again in 2007, with well over 3,000 runners taking part. 2,285 people managed to complete the half marathon.[6] The number of entrants for the event increased by 20%, with the number of fun runners almost doubling.[7] In a poll of the readers of Runner's World magazine, the Great Eastern Run achieved a top 50 rating out of 736 races across the United Kingdom.[8]

The 2008 event again saw an increase in the number of entrants, with approximately 4,450 runners taking to the streets of Peterborough.[9]

Roughly 3,480 runners took part in the half marathon of the 2009 event, with about 1,300 people competing in the fun run.[10] For the first time, the fun run was chip timed and was advertised as being 4 km in length (in previous years it had been advertised as 5 km). All three races were started by Barry Fry, the director of football at Peterborough United.[11]

The 2010 event was unique because it took place at a time and date consisting purely of the number 10. The half marathon started at 10 seconds past 10:10, with the date being 10/10/10. Record numbers of runners took part, though the event was overshadowed by the deaths of two runners in the half marathon. Detective Constable Rob Davys collapsed during the race and was taken to Peterborough District Hospital. Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was later pronounced dead. A local runner named Matthew Ward (also a local teacher) also collapsed shortly after the race – he too was pronounced dead at the hospital. These were the first fatalities in the Great Eastern Run since the event was relaunched in 2006. The high temperatures meant that in total, 15 people required medical attention.[12][13]

The 2011 was another record year with over 4,100 entering the Perkins Great Eastern Run. The winner, Edwin Kiptoo, completed the flat course in 62mins 28sec. Liz Yelling created a record by being the quickest woman, completing the course in 72mins 14secs.

In 2012 the Perkins Great Eastern Run, took place on 14 October and was one of only five runbritain Grand Prix races as well as being a UK Championship race.

In 2013 the Perkins Great Eastern Run, which takes place on 13 October, hopes to reach a record 7000 entries.


The route is very flat, with a rise of only 13 metres. All events start and finish on The Embankment beside the River Nene. The half marathon and wheelchair race then follow the same route. A full route map is available online at The fun run route is 5k, only running as far Princes Gardens before heading down Eastfield Road and the same finishing straight as the half marathon.

Past winners[edit]

Edition Date Men's winner Time (h:m:s) Women's winner Time (h:m:s)
1st 15 Oct 2006  John Mutai (KEN) 1:04:35  Cathy Mutwa (KEN) 1:12:58
2nd 14 Oct 2007  Raymond Tanui (KEN) 1:03:48  Jo Wilkinson (GBR) 1:14:32
3rd 12 Oct 2008  William Chebon (KEN) 1:02:57  Jo Wilkinson (GBR) 1:12:36
4th 11 Oct 2009  Neil Addison (GBR) 1:07:32  Jo Wilkinson (GBR) 1:13:40
5th 10 Oct 2010  Edwin Kipyego (KEN) 1:02:16  Edith Cheline (KEN) 1:13:33
6th 9 Oct 2011  Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 1:02:26  Liz Yelling (GBR) 1:12:14
7th 14 Oct 2012  Luka Rotich (KEN) 1:02:25  Emily Biwott (KEN) 1:12:29
8th 13 Oct 2013  Nicholas Kirui (KEN) 1:03:59  Purity Kimetto (KEN) 1:11:52
9th 13 Oct 2014  Jonah Chesum (KEN) 1:03:36  Perendis Lekapana (KEN) 1:12:40
10th 11 Oct 2015  Philip Koech (KEN) 1:01:40  Lenah Jerotich (KEN) 1:13:02
11th 9 Oct 2016  Shadrack Kimining Korir (KEN) 1:03:38  Teresiah Omosa (KEN) 1:15:06

Winners of the Wheelchair Race[edit]


External links[edit]