Charity runners pay tribute to Ali
THEY were two record-breaking races Ali Brownlee would have been proud of.
More than 1,500 people took part in yesterday’s Middlesbrough 5k riverside run, won by Ethiopian Paralympian Wondiye Fikre.
A total of 650 youngsters, parents and fancy dress competitors then took their places for the 2k Fun Run an hour later.
And “Voice of the Boro” Ali was not far from people’s memories as they crossed the line.
Former Boro player Neil Maddison said: “It’s a great run because of the great man himself.
“He’ll be looking down on everyone today, laughing. I think he’ll be very proud to have a race named after him.”
The annual race, renamed after Ali following his death from cancer in February 2016, saw runners set off from the Riverside Stadium before cutting past Boro landmarks such as the Transporter and Temenos. They then entered the stadium for a final victory lap.
This year it was silver paralympic medallist Fikre who crossed the line first in a time of 15:15, with Dominic Shaw close behind on 15:23.
Lydia Turner was the first woman to cross the line with a time of 17:23, followed by Tracy Millmore just behind.
First boy over the line was Campbell Darcy, followed by Alexander Main and Ben Hodgson.
First girl was Katie Wood, followed by Ella Baker and Sophie Bannister.
Race director Jimmy Wattis said this year’s races were record breakers.
He added: “The music, with Ali’s commentary mixed in with Chariots of Fire - it brought tears to my eyes.”
People of all ages took part
The 2k was a really family affair
Wondiye Fikre crosses the finishing line