‘Catching up’ with Jess Warner-Judd and Ellis Cross – New Record Holders

This year’s event saw a good deal of HOKA elite athletes blast through the streets like a cold gust of wind, including Jess Warner-Judd and Ellis Cross who are the new course record holders after a super speedy performance.

We caught up with these two talents after the run (after they’d caught their breath, of course), having seen Ellis Cross taking first place in the men’s category with a time of 28:52, and Jess Warner-Judd clocking a speedy 31:59, as first in the female category. Both smashed the previous course records by 2 minutes, 31 seconds and 2 minutes 7 seconds respectively.

Jess and Ellis gave us their brrrrr-illiant insight into what went down on the event day:

Jess Warner-Judd

It was my first time doing the Winter run and I did it to support HOKA. I’m extremely lucky to be part of such a great brand and the atmosphere at the event was incredible. It was so inspiring to see so many people taking part and achieving their goals and more importantly raising lots of money for charity.

At the start line, we warmed up  among other people who were excited to run. I loved all the penguins and polar bears by the start; it was great to feed off the positive energy of everyone there.

The course was amazing; it was a great chance to see London’s landmarks and run through the city. The spectators were really encouraging, and entertainment was so fun! I loved the wolves who were howling at around mile 1, and the singers who created such a cool atmosphere! The atmosphere on the course made me forget about my tired legs towards the end of the run. I was really happy to run sub 32 minutes and am already looking forward to trying to beat it next year!

When I came over the line and seen that I’d beaten the course record, I was a bit surprised but just really happy to have taken the event to new heights. Afterwards, I had a lovely brunch with the rest of Team HOKA, socialised a bit and then got the train back home to Loughborough. It was a great way to top off the event!

Ellis Cross

As a HOKA athlete, I wanted to support an event they were sponsoring as well as having one eye on the course record because I love a challenge!

I was feeling very relaxed pre-race in the Welcome Area which had a great atmosphere. The organisation of the event helped with feeling relaxed because everything ran so smoothly leading up to the race start.

I had a very positive experience of the race in general. You can’t really beat running around the streets of London with the roads closed. The atmosphere out on the course was also very good (special shoutout to the penguins) and this definitely helped me achieve this performance!

I was very surprised I ran as fast as I did. When I saw the clock in the closing stages of the race it definitely came as a surprise to me that I was on for a sub-29-minute clocking on a course I was told wouldn’t be a particularly fast course. This course has a lot of potential for athletes to run fast times on, it’s definitely not a “slow” course! I celebrated the victory with a Sunday Roast when I got home which made the hard work throughout the day worth it! I will definitely be back again and, would recommend others to get involved in what was a great event!

Thanks to Jess, Ellis, the HOKA team, and all our wonderful participants for making this such a special event. See you next year!