Snake Lane 10

23 February 2014
By Matthew Rose

“Great PB race, flat and fast running through North Yorkshire countryside” – no mention of wind and boy, wind there was!

The Snake Lane 10 is a very popular 10 mile road race starting and finishing in the classic market town of Pocklington, 15 miles from York. The race starts at 11am, a much more convenient time than most races and an opportunity to travel over at leisure.  We took the minibus arriving at the Rugby Club for around 9am getting 'first dibs' on the car park and the facilities; bacon butties, coffee, tea and an opportunity to sit and relax – the perfect pre-race prep!

Team Holmfirth have a successful day at the Snake Lane 10

A great day for Holmfirth Harriers men and women!

Alwyn coordinated the warm-ups and drills and after a short break we were invited to congregate before being escorted through the village to the start line.  With almost 1,000 runners and spectators it was a picture and there was a great buzz amongst the crowds.

The conditions were fair at the start line, but we weren’t naïve – the wind was out there and we would find it!

The race started at 11am prompt and included 19 Harriers. We headed out along very slightly undulating rural roads and from mile 2.5 started climbing gradually into the village of Bishop Wilton; the furthest and highest point in the race.  Once in the village at mile 4.5 we were directed left and the downhill that followed provided a great opportunity to increase the pace; unfortunately it was at this point where we found the wind and it would be with us for the remainder of the race!

Most runners sought shelter and as with a peloton in cycling, many took turns to lead their groups in some aggressive and strong wind across open moorland. It’s at this point when you realise why it’s called “Snake Lane”… we twisted left and right for a few miles before a left turn onto the main road for the final three miles towards the finish line.

Holmfirth men take the take prize

Philip Hewitt, Dave Turnbull and Stu Sharp
win the men's team trophy

The wind was fierce and it was difficult to make any ground.  In the 'peleton' you could seek some shelter but it came from all directions; to make progress you had hit the front and just face it.  One mile from the end, Alwyn was there offering the ever familiar motivational call to push on, stick with the group, move onto the next… he didn’t disappoint!

As we entered the village we were presented with a sign “200 metres to go”… after 150 metres, runners took a final left turn into Market Place where the crowds were cheering for that last push up to the finish line.

As usual there was no shortage of praise from the organisers, runners and Harriers as we were handed our banana, water and commemorative cast mug and for those lucky enough, a spot prize offering 25p off at Costa Coffee!

Lucy and Maggie, 2/3 of the ladies winning team

Lucy Verrill and Margaret Sykes
celebrate the ladies team win

The winner was Carl Ryde of Doncaster AC in 54:45, closely followed by Dave Turnbull who had worked hard and closed the gap down to just 10 seconds with 54:55. Stuart Sharp had a great race and came 3rd in 55:32.

Helen Cross from the hosts, Pocklington Runners was the first female in 1:02:39.  First for Holmfirth was Maragaret Sykes [4th female] in 1:04:30.  Lucy Verrill was 5th female in 1:05:24.

Philip Hewitt was third counter for the men, finishing 12th in 1:00:01 and Claire Leaver third for the ladies in 1:08:06 which rewarded Holmfirth a team win for both the men and the ladies; a fabulous achievement!

The Snake Lane 10 didn't disappoint; an affordable race at only £12 to enter,  well organised, good marshalling, chip timed, decent prize money, good facilities and a bar... one to recommend for 2015


Holmfirth: David Turnbull [2] 00:54:55; Stuart Sharp [3] 00:55:32; Philip Hewitt [12] 01:00:01; Margaret Sykes [70/4th F] 01:04:30; Jared Croft [71] 01:04:41; Brandon Holroyd [80] 01:05:11; Lucy Verrill [84/5th F] 01:05:24; Oliver Carter [124] 01:07:19; Claire Leaver [144] 01:08:06; Rob Kersey [204] 01:10:55; Matthew Rose [260] 01:13:43; John Field [321] 01:16:33; Cheryl Laird [567] 01:28:15; Katherine Mcfadzean [623] 01:31:33; Sarah Ross [704] 01:38:13; Louise Day [732] 01:41:30; Diane Kolat [734] 01:41:58; Tracy Durrans [741] 01:43:41; Fay Dolphin [778] 01:50:34.

Complete: Sports Timing Solutions - Snake Lane 10 (including video clips of finish)


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