The ENVA 10 is an annual 10 mile race for Club Members held in the countryside between the Thames and Jubilee Rivers. It currently starts and finishes near the Pineapple Pub in Dorney.
The race was the brainchild of club founder member Eric NV Abbott (ENVA) and was first held in 1982, over 40 years ago. Sadly Eric passed away on Saturday 25th March 2023, the day before this year’s race. Our deepest sympathies go to Eric’s family and friends.
Congratulations this year to Patrick Butler and Sarah Pearson for being respectively fastest man and fastest lady for the second year in succession. Sarah also won the ENVA Cup for recording the fastest time adjusted for age and gender.
ENVA 10 RouteDownload file for GPS
ENVA Cup Winners: 1982 – 2023
|1982||Bob Hardman||1983||Mark Challis||1984||Ken Clilverd|
|1985||Patricia Fowler||1986||Arthur Lowe||1987||Bernard Hooker|
|1988||Eddie Davey||1989||Peter Riley||1990||Pat Hatch|
|1991||Linda Walsh||1992||Mike Brown||1993||Carol Linton|
|1994||Christine Pillman||1995||Ivor Earl||1996||Bob Hardman|
|1997||Mike Morgan||1998||Keith Scudamore||1999||Colin Baker|
|2000||Colin Bennett||2001||Judith Shakeshaft||2002||Judith Shakeshaft|
|2003||Graham Wilson||2004||Shaun Tuffnell||2005||Mike Thick|
|2006||Steve Worrall||2007||Keith Scudamore||2008||Mike Morgan|
|2009||Claire Primett||2010||Linda Hughes||2011||Bruce Cooke|
|2012||Alison Allen||2013||Chris Rose||2014||Bruce Cooke|
|2015||Derek Humphrey||2016||Bruce Cooke||2017||Nigel Sullivan|
|2018||Derek Humphrey||2019||Derek Humphrey||2020||Derek Humphrey|
|2022||Derek Humphrey||2023||Sarah Pearson|
History of the ENVA Cup
When the Club was first formed in late 1978, besides running the Social Mile every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, followed by a training run, the only competitive run available in which members could race against each other was the Staggered Jog. There was also the problem that members’ running ability varied considerably. The Club’s members were an assortment of male and female of varying ages and ability.
So in 1982, Eric Abbott had the idea of organising an annual race where each runner would have an even chance to win. A secret handicap would be given to each runner, calculated before the date of the run. Not even the runner was to know what time was given. Eric appreciated that there could be a problem when deciding on the magnitude of the handicap for each runner in order that it represented his/her present form. Back in 1982, the idea of age-related factors had not been considered and were certainly not available.
Careful thought was given as to the organisation of such a run. What would be the best distance for the run and more important what route should be used to avoid traffic etc? And as this run was intended to be an annual event, what time of the year should it be held?
Back in 1982, there were several races available, organised by various running Clubs throughout the country, and many within a reasonable distance of Burnham, but most were of relatively short distances. Eric remembered travelling to Leeds each year to compete in the annual Six Mile race around the centre of the City as it was considered to be an extra long race. The roads were closed to all traffic on the day of the run and it usually attracted a large field of competitors, about 600 runners. This was 40 years ago and 600 runners racing around the centre of a City was a unique event. There were a limited number of organised races of that sort of distance in the country, but during the following years longer distance races started to became very popular.
Following discussions with some of our senior members, it was decided that this new race should cover 10 miles. Various routes were suggested, and a decision was finally made on a circular route starting at the bridge across the motorway in Lake End Road and run in an anti-clockwise direction which meant always turning left – convenient when running along the roads and pavements. The route commenced in Lake End Road, then to the A4, down Marsh Lane, over the other motorway bridge towards Dorney and finally along the other end of Lake End Road back to the starting point on the motorway bridge. 2½ laps of this route provided a run of exactly 10 miles which was later checked by measurement (walking with a measuring wheel).
A decision had then to be made as to when this run should take place each year to avoid interfering with the other yearly races that the Club organises e.g. the Half-Marathon, Christmas races, and those during the Easter holiday. Objections were also raised by some members that the race should not take place during, or close to, July due to the Summer Holidays. Eventually, it was agreed that the race should take place sometime between the Christmas period and Easter.
The Sunday nearest to Valentine’s Day (14th February) was chosen and this date was used for many years until changed by the Committee.
Careful thought was given as to the method of handicapping each runner was to receive. Each year there was an overall problem because the ENVA 10 run proved very popular with members and a large contingent of members who entered the race had hardly ever run in a timed race before. (In those days we were only joggers !!)
The method that was used relied on the results obtained from the Staggered Jog over the past year. The other useful information came from the results of any timed races the individual member had entered in over the previous 12 months. Naturally, there were still many entrants who had no recorded times.
As soon as the members registered for the race, a note was made of their name and an interest was taken to see what distances the member ran during training each week and the result of any races that they had competed in. This information gave some indication of their current performance. Speaking to them also gave an indication of the scale of handicap that should be given.
You can imagine, the working out of these handicaps took a considerable amount of time and research. None of these methods were found to be foolproof and unfortunately after each race there was always a certain amount of criticism from a few members. A few years ago, tables of related age- factors became available and handicapping is now easy and quickly done.
Records show that the year when the greatest number of runners competed was in 1984 when there were 96 finishers. The first man past the finishing line on that day was Grahame Jennings in a time of 51m 25s, and the first lady was Elaine Wallace timed at 65m 48s. They are both very good times for a 10 mile race.
The record time over the 10 miles was achieved by Jim Mouat (51m 16s) in 1983. In the same year, Anne King completed the run in 59m 03s which is still the female record for the distance. Eric was later told that when Anne returned to her home country, Wales, she joined a local athletic club and became a Welsh Running Champion.
E. N. V. Abbott.