The annual Wedding Day race in Bushy Park was first held on Charles and Diana’s wedding day in July 1981.

Since then it has become a firm summer favourite, attracting a large and good quality field to the fast and flat 7km course.

This year’s race on Friday evening was no exception, with visiting Australian internationals dominating both the men’s and women’s races.

David McNeil was the runaway winner, crossing the line in 20:27 over a minute and a half clear of the field. First woman was fellow Aussie Benita Johnson whose 23:10 was good enough to beat all but seven of the men.

Over 60 Ranelagh Harriers took part, which, even before the results had been collated, guaranteed that Ranelagh would retain the “mob match” trophy for the club with the most finishers.

But there was quality as well as quantity. Phil Killingley and Peter Haarer battled each other throughout the race before Phil broke clear to finish 5th in 22:48 just seven seconds ahead of Peter. Consolation for Peter came with the bottle of champagne for the first man over 40.

In addition, Phil and Peter combined with fast-improving Alyn Morgan (12th in 24:07) and Jonty Stacey (13th in 24:21) to win the men’s team race. Niall O’Connor and Nick Wright followed on just ahead of Jonathan Robinson whose 26:03 in 34th place earned him second position in the over 50 category.

Chris Owens and Bill Neely finished 3rd and 5th in the age group. Amongst the junior men 16 year-old George Inman and 15 year-old Luke Wilson took 3rd and 4th places, George recording 27:02 and Luke 29:08.

In the women’s race Ranelagh took 3rd place in the team event, led by Liz Kipling who was 5th woman (64th overall) in 27:50. Marie Synnott-Wells was eight seconds behind in 6th place and Bonnie Morgan finished 18th in 29:17.

Backing up were Kerrie O’Connor, 24th in 29:23, Daniela Mingham, 32nd in 30:51 and Alison Dicks, 33rd in 30:53. Kathy Mallett, 46th in 32:49, took 2nd place in the over 55 category.

72 year-old Pat Hewlett could probably claim to be the oldest woman in the race but far from the slowest as she finished 508th overall in 49:19.