Runaway success for Newham Classic 10k Run 2012 in West Ham Park

More than a thousand runners flocked to West Ham Park yesterday to compete, and fundraise, in the Newham Classic 10k Run 2012.

The annual run, currently in its fourth year, attracted more than 1,400 people in what has been dubbed The People’s Run.

Organised by the Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy (TSFA) in partnership with Newham College in Plaistow and energy company Saudi Aramco, participants had the option of running 1.6km, 5km, or 10km with prizes for winners in eight categories while fundraisers can raise cash for the TSFA or any charity of their choice.

The start of the race was marked by Ronnie Cooper, 85, a boxer in the 1948 Olympic Games who flagged off the event at 9am.

The winner of the race was Mehretab Soloman, 22, from Kenya who completed the route in 28 minutes and 25 seconds while the fastest woman in the race was Faye Fullerton, 28, from Havering Mayesbrook, finishing in 32 minutes and 37 seconds.

Notable names taking part this year included 101-year-old Fauja Singh, the oldest participant in the race, who was running the Newham Classic 10k for the third time.

Hailing from Ilford, Fauja also ran the Toronto Marathon last year and plans to take part in the London Marathon next week.

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Finishing the Newham race in one hour and 17 minutes, he says the secret to his extraordinary health and stamina is “ginger, curry, and tea”.

The speediest competitor from Newham College was Stephen Smith, 59, who completed the route in 45 minutes and nine seconds.