For the first time last night, running and music collided as top Olympic sprinters, Dizzee Rascal and 1000 of the UK’s fastest young runners took part in the Nike+ Supersonic Final in Battersea Park, London.
Jermaine Mays, 24, from Lewisham and Helen Ewing, 28, from Fulham were the fastest male and female runners over the floodlit 1k sprint, which ended in an exclusive gig headlined by Dizzee Rascal and The Enemy for the runners and 2000 of their supporters.
This unique initiative, using music to drive speed, has been developed to discover new talent and engage the interest of young runners ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
‘The event was dark, loud and exciting – so different to normal races’, said 2008 Olympic-hopeful Jermaine. New Zealander, Helen, explained, ‘I don’t race – I just enjoy running to work every day, so I’m just ecstatic that I won’.
Lending their support to the competitors were Olympic gold medalist Mark Lewis-Francis and the world’s fastest junior runner, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, along with fellow athletes Montell Douglas, Asha Philip, Jemma Simpson and Tim Benjamin.
“Anything that gets more people into the idea of competitive running is good for our sport and potentially good for our medal hopes in the future. What’s great about Nike+ Supersonic is using music as the way to take athletics and running to that new audience”, said Mark Lewis Francis.
The runners were selected at three Nike+ Supersonic 100m urban speed trial events held at venues across London, all of which featured motivation from live DJs. The fastest 1,000 won a place in the final with the fastest runners recording times of up to 10.15 seconds.
"Nike is looking to re-define running in the eyes of young Londoners, we want to show that running is not only a brilliant way to keep fit but being a strong runner also benefits whatever sport you are into, whether it's football, basketball or dancing”, said Simon Charlesworth, Nike Running Marketing Manager.
Attendees on the night included:
- Dizzee Rascal – Mercury prize winning rapper/producer from London
- The Enemy – Indie/rock band from the Midlands
- Mark Lewis Francis – Olympic 4 x 100m relay gold medallist 2004
- Harry Aikines-Aryeetey – World Junior 100m Champion 2006
- Montell Douglas – Female UK sprinter
- Asha Philip – Current UK Junior 100m record holder
- Jemma Simpson – GB Champion 07 (800m)
- Tim Benjamin – Current UK champion (400m)
By: Michelle Adabra