Stockport 10

8 December 2013
By Matthew Rose

Harriers + 1

Matthew Rose, Lucy Verrill, John field,
Paul Craddock (Trafford AC) and Simon Edwards

I was a little nervous given we’d had ‘Stormageddon’ earlier in the week; the worst weather for many years.  That was unnecessary, waking at 6am it sounded a little gusty but by the time I left my home it was fine and reasonably calm.

The race started at 10am and we had to collect numbers on the day; combined with Lucy’s ‘drills’ we agreed to leave at 7:30am.  With pickups and the trip over to the ‘other side’ we arrived safely just before 8:30am.

It was just as I remembered it in 2011 with calming music being streamed through the sound system and Tom Potson warming up on the PA system – “Today we’ve got the very best water on offer; it’s been made with two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and this year we’ve not only got one, we’ve got two waters stations on the course”… the comedy went on and whilst frustrating to some it was entertaining to many more!

The early arrival meant number collection was very straightforward and quick… that wasn’t the case later as the queues started to grow which eventually led to a 10 minute delay with the start.  At 9am I headed off with Lucy and Karen and we did a steady two mile warm-up.  On our return the music had been ramped up a little and it was great to see the Holmfirth ‘men’ practicing their dance moves… That’s what it looked like although apparently these were their stretches.

By now it was getting quite busy and there was a real buzz of an atmosphere as athletes warmed up running round Stockport AC’s weatherproof running track.  The 1804 Air Squadron Air Corps Band were there to entertain from 9:30am and after bit of banter, a few photos, bags tagged and handed in – we were set.

sp10 orderofservicefront

Comedy throughout including the
Race information booklet!

At 10:11am the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport Council sounded the hooter and we were off.  The race was chip timed and started with two laps of the track to the sounds of Benny Hill and Chariots of Fire before a small loop within the Woodbank Memorial Park.  I started quite a way back from the front and eased myself into the race.  Ahead of me I’d spotted Simon Edwards and further ahead again Karen Sinkinson – I’d achieved 72:40 in 2011 (a good year!) and was unsure what was possible after a few recent 'bad' races.  The field had thinned out quite well already and it was time to get my head down and get on with it.

I caught up with Simon after about 2.5 miles whilst we worked through the local estates…Simon was confident he was going to achieve something great and I could see it happening; he looked in fine form. 

The course had changed this year and now included quite a bit of ‘trail’; at 3.5 miles we swung a left to see the first of this… a sharp decent down a muddy track which went on for a mile or so – muddy legs on a road race…whatever next?  Whilst muddy with many puddles to negotiate the track was quite runnable.

Once on the road again we were onto the first incline which was steady and hard to ignore - especially the exhaust fumes from vehicles queuing and moving cautiously up the road. After a while we turned left and climbed for some time through a housing estate to the highest point in the race.  I thought I must be rewarded for that climb… to follow was four miles including 2.5 miles of flat/downhill and more muddy trail!

At mile 8 we joined the main Stockport Road and I caught a glimpse of Karen in the distance; two miles to go and I knew if I was sensible I’d close the gap and might possibly catch up.  It was tough with a long steady climb back towards the park.  I kept pushing until eventually I reached the top of the hill to enter the park for the final 1,200 metres. I’d worked so hard to close the gap by the time I caught Karen I was exhausted… Mo Farah I was not and as I reached the top and the turn into the park the gap started to widen again… I continue to push and accepted that there was no way I would catch her… I reached the track for the final 200m dash and gave it my all. 

I’d seen they had some decent technology in place and MC Tom announced my arrival onto the track, “here’s Matthew Rose from Holmfirth Harriers”… I pushed as hard as I could passing two or three people and watched helplessly as Karen crossed the line just 30 or so metres ahead… a last push and I was there too, thank goodness!

There was the typical patting on the back, “Well done” from those around who had worked together over the final stages of the race.  We were handed our famous Stockport 10 Goody Bag (which consisted of Porridge, Crisps, Banana, Bouncy Ball, Candle, Dr Who collectors’ card, Christmas gift tag, a packet of sweets, notepad, T-Shirt, Puma Tattoo transfer, Salt and some leaflets/vouchers) , a sports drink, our technical t-shirt and then pointed in the direction of baggage collection.

Race information inner

Race information and goody back contents!

How apt, as they played Perfect 10 by the Beautiful South.. Lucy came over and we congratulated each other on our runs – how delighted I was for Lucy who’d finished in 65 minutes!

Within a few minutes Simon joined us declaring his delight of a massive eight minute PB, again another great result.

John Field was on the track now.. It had been touch and go whether he could run following an incident with a flag stone some week’s earlier; preparation hadn’t been great so he’d decided to run and enjoy the race.

Folk went about their business, warmdowns, showers and change before the prize giving ceremony.

The race winner was Mohammed Abu Rezeq from Altincham and District AC in 49:41 followed by the host's front man Andi Jones in 50:15. 

The first female in 13th place overall was Jilly Woodthorpe from Barnsley AC in 57:51.

Lucy Verill was called up to receive her prize for first Open Female, a position strongly disputed – “I was 6th” Lucy declared – an easy mistake as the vet categories were awarded separately… 1st Open Female and prize money of £75 led a rapturous applause.  Lucy recorded a fantastic PB of 1:05:00.

Karen Sinkinson whilst having formally transferred her number was not recognised in the results so wasn’t awarded for her performance which would have netted her 2nd F50; Karen recorded a PB (another in a series on the road!) of 1:13:11.

No PB for me and reasonably happy (I should have been under 1:13!); I recorded 1:13:22.  Simon Edwards had a great run and finished in 1:17:17 – a new 10 mile PB by over eight minutes followed by John Field who recorded 1:21:46.

Our friend from the other side, Paul Craddock of Trafford AC was delighted having achieved his target of sub 90 minutes; he completed the race in 1:29:54... Paul now continues his Ultra journey with the ultimate target of running 100 miles!

What followed was a celebratory drink and lunch at the Boat & Horses Pub in Chadderton.


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