Things weren't looking promising on arrival, with light snow falling on a bitterly cold damp day, runners were more concerned about getting inside the local leisure centre (race registration) for warmth than running a 10k. I soon met up with my fellow Striders, where we were issued with race numbers and tags (for chip timing) in preparation for the race.
Eventually, and reluctantly we left the warmth of the leisure centre, and made are way to the race start, 'Clough Hall Park'. After the usual warm up, about 350 runners packed themselves in a narrow start area, and after a brief welcome from the race director, we were sent on our way. The first few hundred metres was a bit of a dog fight along a narrow path leading out the park, before exiting onto the road. The course was essentially a lap of a housing estate, followed by a larger lap of 'Clough Hall Park' followed by a final lap of the housing estate. I'm not making it sound to glamorous, but the lap of the park was very enjoyable with a lap of a reservoir and lots of scenic woodland to run through. The only thing I should add about the course was it was deceptively hilly with several long inclines, which took it's toll. On miles one and five we had the welcome encouragement in the form of Paul and Nikki Nicholls and of course Betty Bear, who were on marshalling duty, all togged up, including Betty, in high viz vests.
The end couldn't come soon enough, and I managed to finish just under 39:54 minutes, Andy and Heather finished in that order in 41:00 and 41:02 respectively minutes, Helen finished shortly after in 55:51. A special mention should go to Heather for being first lady home.
|Heather Carter, Andy Thomas, Helen Childs, and Tony Taylor with their medals|
We all agreed this was a great local race, well organised with a nice 'goody bag' (medal and head buff included). Also as a nice touch, the organisers arranged two trial runs beforehand for runners to familiarise themselves with the course. Definitely highly recommended and well worth putting in the calendar for next year.