Category Archives: 10km

Mad Dog 10K – Live and Let Drool, Southport, Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dougie Nisbet

I did the first ever Mad Dog and it was great. The thought of being a Mad Dog Ever Present appealed and for a few years it was all good, but holidays and diary clashes intervened, so now I have to settle for being a Nearly Ever Present. Still, it’s been great watching this fledgling event grow from nothing to one of the UK’s most popular 10Ks in just seven years.

My training lately has been lots of long and slow as trying to do the short and fast thing doesn’t really agree with me. It’s too much like hard work. So as I stood in the Dalmatian pen (not as fast as a Greyhound, but faster than a Husky) I knew running 10km wasn’t going to be a big problem. It was running it fast that would be the hard bit.

Elvis at the Southport Mad Dog 10KAway we went into the fine morning. Conditions were good. Congestion was as expected and not too bad, and it thinned out pretty quickly anyway. I was in no rush and settled down into a comfortable groove. This is a good race for spectators with opportunities to catch the race in more than one place if you do your homework. I spied Roberta standing on the pier where she, along with many other spectators, were spellbound by the entertainer high-fiving runners as they past underneath. It was Elvis. Possibly the same Elvis you see at the bus-shelter towards the end of the GNR. Or a close relation. And my word, what a talent! A performance never to be forgotten. Music was a big theme this year. It always is for the Mad Dog but this year the performances were exceptional. You get to see the fantastic steel band twice, once on the way out, and again in the last few kms.

At the half-way point I was feeling pretty comfy and stepped up the pace a little. The route now meandered around to pass back under the pier at a different point where the Merseyside Rock Choir brought some real class to the party. I was feeling pretty good and bounded on although I was tempted to stop, look and listen.

With about 3km to go I kept nudging the needle careful not to blow it and throttling back gently when I felt I was overdoing it. Passing runners steadily to the line I gave a well-judged push in the last few hundred metres, slightly alarmed that the Finish banner said Start, and hoping that the Finish wasn’t round the corner back at the school. It wasn’t and I was pretty pleased with running a text-book negative split. The last time I did this race I was pretty dismayed to be well over 50 minutes, and not having run a sub-25 parkrun for as long as I can remember I wasn’t expecting miracles today. So when the text came though of a chip-time of 48:35 I was a very happy dalmatian.

Merseyside Rock Choir

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Heaton Harriers Memorial 10K, Newcastle Town Moor, Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stephen Jackson


Shoulder to ShoulderWhen it comes to running, along with many other aspects of my life, I’m a creature of habit.

There are hundreds of great races that take place all over the North of England and further afield and often I check the results, browse the photos and think; I’d love to give that one a go.

However, my race calendar usually consists of 5-6 core races that I always try and enter; everything else has to fit around family life. This event now sits firmly amongst that select bunch. Brass Monkey, London Marathon, Sunderland 5k, Bridges of the Tyne, Clive Cookson 10k, Brampton to Carlisle. What’s the common theme? I’ll give you a clue, it ain’t the scenery.

If the weather is kind (more specifically; the wind) this has everything I could possibly want from an event. It’s a flat, fast course and a well organised, chip-timed race with a competitive field. Small enough to get your toes somewhere near the start line and big enough to provide a bit of competition throughout the field.

The minutes’ silence beforehand provided some stark perspective, a very fitting way of paying respect whilst doing something, running, that epitomises the freedom that our fallen soldiers died for.

The onset of a head cold during the week, coupled with the fact that this wasn’t my ‘A race’ meant that my expectations weren’t especially high – perhaps a good thing as it is emerged. I knew I was in pretty good shape after a 6-7 week block of heavy training following the Great North Run. This training programme, under the guidance of Allan Seheult, was interspersed only with a couple of cross country races and I still maintain a lot of my road PBs have been earned, in some part, during those slogs around the North East Harrier League.

The race was a dream, and one of those joyously unexpected results that leaves you thinking did I really do that? Finding that precarious balance between speed (all relative) and control is not easy; but on Sunday I had some help. Around 7km into the race, just as I was really starting to tire someone went past my right shoulder looking, it must be said, far more comfortable than I was feeling. For the next mile I didn’t so much as glance at my watch, I knew it wouldn’t make a difference. I shadowed this poor bloke, stride for stride. If only psychologically, it felt like he was doing the work for me. This gave me a real boost before the final km which had to take care of itself, nothing left on the course, no ‘what-ifs’.

Ten seconds with my hands on my knees, a glance at my watch, then a smile. I love running.

And yes, I did beat him in the end.

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Turnpike Trot 10k, Whitby, Sunday, October 23, 2016

Steve Ellis

Set in the tranquil North Yorkshire moors, a mile or two off the main Whitby road this trot was advertised as a 10k (or thereabouts) event organised by the now burgeoning brand that is Hardmoors.

We arrived in plenty of time to get our numbers and ponder the relative merits of various clothing/ footwear combos. Malcolm had chosen his normal minimalist approach as can be seen on the photos! Hardmoors..phaa. I shall bear my chest and stride them tha hills! the rest of us choosing warmer garb. Each to their own . After registration the throng began to move out of the village and up a wooded path to the starting place where the finishing tent was also placed. After the now mandatory health and safety briefing we were off! The “trot” quickly turned into a pell-mell ,helter skelter pelt down a wet and slippery bumpy grassy slope. At the bottom the path became more narrow and muddy and eventually , after crossing a heavily saw dusted wooden bridge and some likewise saw dusted wooden platforms we began the 800 meter or so climb. Now we were back to trotting. The path was very narrow and hidden gullies and pot holes were waiting to catch the unwary. Progress was slow but steady to the top where a sharp left turn took us out onto the now flat moor. The paths were grassy and full of puddles which were circumnavigated by most and gave us the chance to now turn this trot into a run. The river crossing caused a bottleneck as runners found various ways to get across. Scampering down the little ravine most hopped over on the rocks. Some just plodged through….very hardmoors! After this brief hazard we resumed our grassy zig zag puddle avoiding run. At last a sharp downhill stretch loomed into view which was very rocky and very slippery. Not for the feint hearted as a wanton approach here could prove to be painful. At the bottom a sharp left-hand turn and the path began to climb again. It dragged on for a few hundred metres then crested to reveal a long grassy slalom back to the start line. And so the second lap began. We were now joined by the 5k Rabbit runners who had just set off and the trot continued much like the first lap. The moorlands here were reflecting the changeable nature of the weather. As we looked west across the bleak hills they were at once all monochrome greys and next greens and purple as the sun broke through. Wherever you looked the cloud bursts could be seen in the distance and we knew our turn would come! Mercifully short and light downpours.

At the finish a gathering purple phalanx continued to cheer all comers to the finish tent, admirably marshalled by our own Anna Seeley. A special cheer was saved for finishing striders. Once through the tent the chat turned to the rather lovely medal we’d earned. It looked like it was made of brass inviting one particular comment, proving once again the very sage Yorkshire life view, that were there’s muck there’s brass!

Malcolm was first strider home followed by Vicky. He was still resplendent in vest and shorts and showing true Yorkshire grit. On the way back to the cars I could swear I heard him turn to Katherine and say” eee lass it were greet o’nt top of them hills today tha nos, and me barr tat an all”….well maybe not The general consensus was a good day all round and to cap it off on the way home the rain really started . Sometimes our timing is just right..

Group Photo

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The Salomon 10K Trail Race, Keswick, Sunday, May 22, 2016

Penny Browell

Keswick Mountain Festival

Plink, plink, fizz!

A few months ago I received an invitation to a wedding in the lake district and the groom (a fellow runner) mentioned the wedding was taking place the same weekend as the Keswick Mountain Festival so I might want to get a race in whilst I was there. It struck me as slightly unwise to race the day after a wedding but once the idea had been planted I couldn’t resist booking myself in. However at 1am on Sunday morning after too many drinks to count and 4 hours in my dancing shoes I (for once) agreed with my husband that maybe racing wasn’t a great idea.

Sunday morning arrived and due to road closures we had to get up early to drive from Hawkshead to Keswick. My head and feet were sore but it was shaping up to be a beautiful day and when we arrived at the festival village there was a lovely atmosphere with plenty of coffee and porridge on sale (thankfully). The festival included a massive range of sporting events including triathlons, ultras, open water swimming and more. It was great to see some of the other competitors taking part and crossing the finishing line but before long it was time for me to set off for the 10k. The race was slightly unusual in that there were multiple starts across the day with each heat only around 100-200. But part of its appeal had been the fact that you have to get a boat from Keswick to Low Brandelhow to get to the start. The boat was bustling with nervous and excited runners and I finally started to feel like I was there to run rather than nurse my hangover.

Penny.

I’d read up a little on the route and knew that the first half was harder than the second and they weren’t kidding. After about a mile of lovely lakeside trails we turned sharply up some monster hills to then contour the side of Catbells. Views were fabulous and the terrain rocky and uneven but dry so fairly easy to run on. The paths undulated up and down and eventually we were back on easier lakeside paths which I recognised from many holidays around Keswick. The last mile or so included some road I knew well through Portinscale and then onto a footpath into Keswick. We were close to the 10k mark and I knew the quickest way back but the race organisers decided to give us an extra bit of fun by taking us off road for a couple more twists and turns before returning to the festival village a lot closer to 7 miles than 10k… The finish was fabulous with crowds cheering you in and especially special for me as I got to see my kids for the first time in over 24 hours.

Due to the race being run in heats I was unable to be absolutely confident of my position but I knew I was first lady in my heat and that I’d run a good race so I celebrated with a cider ice lolly whilst cheering my brother in law in from a 1500m swim in Derwent water. Later in the day I found out I’d won first place for the ladies overall and even broken the course record for women (although I think the race has only been running a couple of years!). I’m now wondering whether I need to drink heavily and dance for hours the night before every race….

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Clive Cookson 10K, Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stephen Jackson

Clive Cookson 10K This was a very well organised, two-lap race on a relatively flat course, with great PB potential; what’s not to like. The atmosphere was very friendly, from the GB international at the front to the 90 minute plus 10k runner towards the rear – everyone was given a warm welcome. Add to this a mild, early summer evening with little or no wind and I was in my element – I fancied a new 10km PB.

The race started at 7.15pm prompt and it was tight at the beginning, even though I’d managed to position myself fairly close to the start line. However, it didn’t take long to find a rhythm as the lead pack(s) quickly broke. What I hadn’t quite appreciated is that the beginning of the race is on a slight incline, nothing too severe, but certainly noticeable on the second lap when the legs are slightly less fresh. The upshot of this is after 2km the road gently rolls back downhill and the pace naturally quickens.

I’d planned to run quite sensibly, split halfway at approximately 17:30 and increase the pace, if possible, towards the end – and so it was to be.

I went through 5km in 17:24, I think, and then had to dig in between 5km and 7km, I was passing people even though I was running slightly slower – I had no one at that point to drag me along. I then got in a small group which carried me through towards the finish, gradually feeling stronger; I knew I was going to be somewhere close to my sub 35 minute target.

I finished a second ahead of Jason Auld of Crook AC for the second time in a week, no mean feat as he’s one of the better Vets in the North East.

So, a new PB of 34.44 (chip time), a nice new t-shirt (albeit orange) and home in half an hour whilst the sun was still shining.

What could be better than that?

Stephen on course for a PB

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Age UK Harewood Dash, Sunday, March 13, 2016

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Michael and a Castle My best racing is always done in my head, in the car (or in this case the van), on the way home. This is because, in my head, I would have worked a little harder up the hill in the middle of the race and managed to place third, in a slightly more satisfying time of 35 minutes and so many seconds.

It is, of course, so much easier racing in your head. In my head I was stronger than the young runner who ‘out kicked’ me with 200m to go and denied me a place on the podium.

The reality was that this was a really good day for my London marathon training, a 90 second improvement on last year and a good time, a whisker over 36 minutes, on a really challenging ‘undulating’ [read hilly] course.

Both myself and Michael Littlewood, who joined me for journey South, managed to place in the top 10. Most importantly, we got some good quality hard miles in our legs for forthcoming races in Cardiff and London.

There was time for a quick coffee and a bit craic at Scotch Corner and we were back in Durham in time for lunch.

I may return next year, I now have some unfinished business after all.

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FlaminGo 10K, Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorkshire, Saturday, March 5, 2016

Andrew Davies

Not a Flamingo in sight.

The hail started as we drove up Sutton Bank and I knew we were in for a dramatic day. We were on our way to Flamingo Land. I’d dragged the family out of bed at 6:30am to get there for 9:30am. They were not happy. The zoo was open but none of the major rides would be (until the next week).

I was heading for the second, and my first, running of FlaminGo 10k. In aid of the Udzungwa Forest Project, apparently. Yes, it’s a real place. In Tanzania.

This race wouldn’t have appeared on my radar but we were on our way to meet our friends, Sarah and Jamie, who own a caravan in the park and suggested I enter. I’m glad they did. They’re both quite fit, Sarah is a swimmer and Jamie loves cycling. He’s a pretty fast parkrunner and might have the edge on me over 10k.

We met in the car park and they snook Vicki and Annabelle in to Flamingo Land. Then we warmed up with the other 250 runners. The weather couldn’t decide between freezing hail, sideways rain or bright sunshine.

There was more club shirts than I expected. I was the only Strider but there was New Marske Harriers, Wallsend Harriers, Easingwold Running Club, Redcar Running Club and Tyne Bridge Harriers amongst more Southern clubs.

There was a loud and excitable radio-DJ-style announcer on the mic, calling the tunes and organising the whole event. We set off at 10am on the dot.

The race was 2 identical laps that snaked through the park and camp site and around the outside of a ridiculously muddy golf course. There was a couple of small rises but other than that it was flat. It was the most twisty 10k I’ve ever run and the muddy golf course slowed everyone down. Not as badly as you guys doing Alnwick XC I imagine.

I got around in 48:26 and beat my friend Jamie by a couple of minutes, which is all that really matters.

The race was won by Tristan Learoyd of New Marske Harriers who seems to win a lot races I enter. He did it in 35:14. First woman was, with a time of 40:28, was Kay Neesam also of New Marske Harriers.

Time for the cleanup.

Runners were allowed free entry to the park but they were generally too wet and muddy to really make the most of it. Luckily we cleaned up in Sarah’s caravan and had the afternoon in the park. The rhinos and giraffes were impressive but there was only a couple of small rides open for the kids.

It was a fun 10k with novel scenery. I’ll probably do it again next year but might not drag the family along. Maybe I could drag some other Striders?

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Osmotherley Night Trail 10k, Saturday, February 20, 2016

Aaron Gourley

There seems to be an appetite for running night trail races at the minute and with good reason in my view. This race organised by my good friends at Gr8 Events had real appeal starting and finishing at Cote Ghyll Mill YHA on the edge of Osmotherley.

The 2 lap course around the reservoir and out through the woods included a deceptively tough climb before a really good long down hill back to the reservoir. There was also a 5km option which was one lap of the course.

My brother was very keen to run in this race, which would actually be his first ever race too so I went along with him.

At the YHA, we registered and then got ready for the start of the race as the sun began to set. A number of familiar faces appeared (to me at least) including Danny Lim.

At 6pm we all gathered outside for the start, head torches beaming and the reflective strips on runners’ clothing glowing in their shine. Then off we went up the road towards the wooded trail path to the reservoir.

The night was crisp and clear and our route was guided by the strategically placed glow sticks. I ran with my brother, and being his first race and on trail in the dark, my job was to rein him in so that he would not just complete the course, but actually enjoy the experience.

The weather in the days leading up to the race had been particularly wet and there were worries around what is normally a benign stream crossing which had turned into a raging torrent, but the weather had settled sufficiently for this to return to a more acceptable level for us to safely cross on the night. However, it had left the rest of the course sodden and a particular section following a stile crossing out of the woods caught many runners out, including my brother, and sent them knee deep into a bog much to my amusement.

Having led my brother around the two laps at a sufficient pace it was time to up the ante and get him back to the finish within the hour. A long road run back to the YHA ensued and I took great delight in making his life a misery pushing him to the finish to make it back in just under 60 mins. Job done.

Danny had finished in a very good time but had to dash so didn’t get to see him at the end but he did miss out on a fabulous spread of food at the end.

A great race and another very good reason why this type of race is becoming so much more popular.

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Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k, Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dave Spence

I entered this race some time ago thinking that it would give me a chance to set a new personal best 10K time and fit in with preparation for the GNR a week later. The previous week I had survived the what can only be described as a brutal Jelly Tea (I think Dougie rather underplayed the difficulty). Oh all that pain for a bit of jelly and a sandwich. But one needs to suffer to progress ( was that Nietzsche or maybe more likely Mudwoman Susan Davis?).

So back to the Tees Pride. I prevaricated between this or the Coxhoe Trail for a week before but then decided having paid I should run it. So awoke to a lovely coolish morning and had an easy and leisurely drive to Middlesbrough. Research on Google helped me to find a parking place about half a mile from the start/finish. There is very much the atmosphere of a smaller GNR , 2000+ entries, with athletes village etc. Having carried out the usual pre race prep (ie regular visits to the toilets) I spotted Mike Elliott and we geed each other up or I think that’s what we did. Then a few dynamic exercises (Alan S would be pleased).

Then a wander over to the start and wiggled my way forward to the under 50mins section. Listened to the tales of woe of those around me from Marske Harriers and then we were off. My target being 7.45 mpm to set a new pb.

I had started well enough forward to have a clear run. The first mile is a drag uphill but nothing compared to the hills of Durham. Then a left turn where the road becomes undulating for about half a mile before a left turn( should I say at this point its all left turns on a rectangular route). Then for about 2 miles it is a long gentle downhill so looking at the watch at 3 miles was at 7.30mpm average pace. Felt good and under control. But and there’s always a but another left turn and from about 4.5m the course becomes undulating and drags uphill all the way to the finish. Starting to feel the heat on a warm sunny day and pace was slipping to 7.38 with half a mile to go. But took heart from the bands hammering out heavy noise and saw the left turn ahead into the finishing tunnel. But why can’t the finish be just round the corner rather than always 200 yards away.

Powering (or should that be stumbling) across the line in a time of 47.10. A personal best by nearly a minute. Happy with that and congrats to all purplies who took part. Now for the GNR.

So if you are after a well managed race supported by lots of people on the route with the chance of a good time this is worth a go.

Results

position name club cat catpos gun time chip time
1 Tadele Geremew Mulugeta Elswick Harriers M 1 0:30:36 0:30:36
7 Alyson Dixon Sunderland Strollers F35 1 0:32:17 0:32:17
250 Katy Walton F 16 0:43:14 0:42:53
390 Fiona Jones F35 9 0:46:11 0:45:09
432 Helen Todd F35 10 0:46:59 0:45:57
525 David Spence M60 11 0:48:25 0:47:10
563 Andrew Davies F35 13 0:49:18 0:47:55
687 David Case M 288 0:51:12 0:50:27
690 Victoria Brown F 54 0:51:15 0:47:54
819 Dougie Nisbet M50 71 0:53:25 0:51:31
1101 James Potter M 408 0:57:43 0:55:45
1484 Helen Hall F45 76 1:03:42 0:59:37
1806 Mike Elliott M60 64 1:10:16 1:05:23
2059 Bev Walker F50 74 1:19:27 1:14:37

2213 finishers.

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Coxhoe 10K Trail Run, Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sarah Davies

Encouraged by rave reviews of last year’s inaugural event, large numbers of Elvet Striders descended on Coxhoe for this year’s 10k trail run. Of the 125 or so participants at least 20 were Striders (there would doubtless have been more had it not been for a little half marathon which I am told is rapidly approaching.)

Prizewinning Striders at Coxhoe.
Photo © and courtesy Deborah King

It was a beautiful sunny morning and after my month-long break from training I was looking forward to running at a relatively leisurely pace and enjoying the scenery. After a slightly congested start, things soon opened up. The course really is attractive with plenty of variety including some lovely wooded sections. It’s mainly on old railway lines and quarry paths – there are three roads to cross but, like the course as a whole, these crossing points are well marshalled. Towards the middle of the race, we had to tackle quite a long, steep climb up through a plantation. This was exhausting in the heat, and it was a relief to see a sign reading ‘halfway point’ not long afterwards. The second half of the course seemed to be more downhill than up until just before the finish, where we faced a final killer hill. I had been warned about this, and managed to drag myself up it, knowing that the end must be close.

As I approached the finish, someone called out that I was first lady. This came as a great surprise: I have never even come close to winning a race before and had deliberately not been pushing myself in this one! But an even greater surprise lay in store: the massive and exceptionally heavy trophy presented to me at the prize-giving! There were prizes all round for team Striders, with Stephen Jackson as third man and Richard Hockin and Shelagh Barton as first V60s. Some great performances from others too, including Ashley Price-Sabate in her first 10k. A huge thanks to everyone who made this run happen, especially to Neil Sleeman and to the Strider marshals who provided Haribos and encouragement. All in all, this was a very memorable morning. I’ve never won a cup before and probably never will again, so I’ll cherish this one as a reminder of all that is unexpected, funny and lovely about running.

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