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A six man company team enjoyed a lung busting ascent of the Leith Hill in Dorking last Sunday by entering and vanquishing its annual half marathon challenge.
The Leith Hill Half Marathon has been consistently voted one of the top three in the UK since inception, and holds a formidable reputation for toughness. Vigilance's senior managers found out why when setting off in near perfect conditions on a course that ascends over 1800 feet of stunning Surrey countryside.
Managing director Christopher Hartley led the VIgilance charge, following an intensive two week's of altitude training at a camp location on the West Coast of the United States. His time of 1:42.52 showed that good breeding and schoolboy running flair (link) are irrepressible and placed him a highly creditable 29th out of 221 finishes.
Newly installed commercial director Ian Lyons proved the company dark horse, recording an impressive 1:47.44 off the back of little training. Placing 50th Ian still found time and energy to strike heroic poses for the benefit of passing paparazzi; evidently time misspent on the set of TOWIE has sharpened Ian's modelling as well as his competitive instincts.
Operations director Ed Mills corrected a self-induced performance blip from a previous showing, by challenging the race leaders strongly... then finishing 53rd. Ed was unlucky to lose a particularly hard fought final sprint against veteran competitor Kenneth Fancett, 64, of Beckenham Running Club. Congratulations to Ed in logging a time of 1:46.44 while still maintaining a fine head of hair.
Seb MacKenzie-Wilson the chief operating officer is living proof that technological advances in running equipment do not translate to speed over the ground. His 70th placed time of 1:51.27 was only achievable with isotonic assistance and his pain on cresting the final hill was captured for posterity by local photographers... and posted on the company notice board.
Young gun, former Royal Marine and assistant services manager Will Fox out-muscled many on course and put in sterling work up to the halfway marker and highest point of the course. Hampered by an increasingly pressing need for a comfort break Will's finishing time was ultimately severely dented as he sought relief, to the severe cost of the local vegetation. Nevertheless, the two hour mark was broken with a time of 1:56.32 and 95th position. Well done young man.
Bringing up the rear Vigilance chairman Lennon still showed a clean set of heels to many out on course... admittedly few were running the race but Leith Hill is popular among dog walkers at any time of day. Undaunted John ground out a result based solely on steely determination... steel needs lubrication to run smoothly, and judging from John's running top he may have gone overboard with his pre-race Vaseline. Nevertheless he slipped into 116th place with a time of 2:00.46. Not one to be deflated he will be back!
Once again, congratulations to the Vigilance Half Dozen; a seriously strong team performance in evidence throughout, and a marvellous spirit of camaraderie built. Further challenges lurk on the horizon, such as the Southdown's Marathon, the Royal Park's Half Marathon and the company's annual charity fundraisers across the Summer.
Results and further pictures can be found by following the link, and many thanks to the Trionium organisers, photographers and website associates for such a well run and supported event:
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