At the start of 2017 I set myself a couple of running goals, one of which was to run a 10k faster than 40 minutes. In order to do this I needed to enter some 10k races with the Wilmslow 10k being the last opportunity of the year.
As it happens I managed to break the 40 minute mark during the summer meaning the Wilmslow 10k was therefore a more relaxed run.
Wilmslow 10k – charity fund-raising with Lyme Runners
As with many local races the Wilmslow 10k supported a local charity. In this case it was The Christie Hospital which is Manchester’s centre for cancer treatment and research. During the summer, the husband of one of my runners at Lyme Park passed away following a 5 year battle with the illness. His widow wanted to raise some money for the team who had treated her late husband and we decided that we would run this event in his memory. I think we had 26 people who have run with the group take part in the race which, for a group of our size, is very impressive.
It was also unusual for me not to be wearing my Stockport Harriers race vest. Today was all about running with Lyme Runners in memory of Nige. Here’s our fund raising page.
Wilmslow 10k – organisation and route
The Wilmslow 10k is a point to point 10k road race, undertaken on closed roads. The route is shown below. It is reasonably flat with about 150ft of ascent over the course.
The route was very well marshaled; I wouldn’t say you couldn’t get lost as I’m sure with a bit of determination and twisted imagination you could. However it’s well signed with the kilometer marks placed accurately. As I mentioned above the event is on closed roads which makes for as safe an environment as you could expect.
The team were very good at sorting out the thorny issue of parking with clear instruction before race day about the best car parks to use. On the day this aspect was well marshaled too.
Wilmslow 10k – my race
Today for me wasn’t about blasting my body to its limits. I’ve been out injured for too much of the year to want to do that and, aside from that, I’d already achieved my 40 minute 10k goal. With the weather forecast suggesting winter with added lashings of winter, today was likely to be more a task of survival.
That said, weather forecasts can be wrong. And, despite it persisting it down with icy rain first thing, by the time we lined up to start, the sun was out. The sun remained out for about 50 minutes allowing a good number of the 2500 runners to get to the finish in the dry! Then it reverted to persisting it down!
I started out further back than I’d have liked. It was a narrow start line and, due to a lot of photograph taking of the group immediately before the start I had to settle with this. That said, once we got underway, the field of runners did spread out pretty quickly with only a small number of near-misses with runners who were slow but started up ahead. I could see the 40 minute pacer a good distance ahead but that was fine, I was going to do my own thing.
The first 5k is predominantly downhill and I settled into a decent pace quickly. Over the first 5k I reeled in the group surrounding the 40 minute pacer and felt in good shape. I wasn’t prepared to push things but at least the 40 minute mark was on the cards.
I ran with the group until about 8.5k before pushing on, crossing the finish at 39m08s; a new PB. I love it when that happens and the run is better than planned.
Wilmslow 10k – Lyme Runners
After I finished I went back to cheer on the other members of my running group over the line. It was a great result with lots of other PBs and happy and surprised runners! We then went off for a celebration pizza lunch whilst the hoards left Wilmslow. We were surprised more people didn’t do this, but it did mean we mostly had the restaurant to ourselves!
Wilmslow 10k – price, goody bag & photography
The Wilmslow 10k cost £19 which is a medium-priced event. Given the organisation and the closure of several roads including the middle of Wilmslow, I’d say it was fair. In addition the car parking was free and there was a shuttle bus service available.
Photographs were taken at numerous points along the course and, as for the Alderley Edge event, are freely available.
The goody bag consisted of
- A medal
- a huge flapjack
- some sweets
- a foil blanket (very well used today as it was rather chilly)
- some bits of advertising paper
Wilmslow 10k – roundup
You may remember that I was rather scathing about the Alderley Edge event. Today was the absolute opposite experience and the Wilmslow 10k exceeded my expectations. The course was enjoyable with lots of decent views of the Cheshire countryside. The route was easy to follow and was well marshaled, ideal for a first-timer to tackle the distance. The course was also fast.
This is definitely one to recommend, although you may need to bring your thermals with you!
Photographs are here.
Results are here.