Report by Stuart Jones
Race Date: Sunday 25th November 2018
The next morning I ran the Doncaster 10k (race sponsored by Curly’s Athletes, pies by Topping Pie, gifts and hot chocolate by runninggifts.com) with 2,414 other runners.
With websites, Facebook and Twitter, and all their own ‘athletes’, the race is well-advertised and promoted. The race HQ is the home of The St. Leger, Doncaster Racecourse. You could fit the whole field inside the main stand if you chose. And there enough toilets for us all, with really short queues. Parking was on off-road hard-standing, built for equine-racing goers. Bag drop was a charity affair, small and well-run.
The start was outside the main stand, on the dual carriageway, with lots of space, well-signed time indicators and pacers carrying huge flags. A good sound system and a loud gun started the race. The pace car and outriders probably shot off quick, and the rest of us started Strava / Garmin / Tom-Tom as we crossed the start line despite the chip on our race numbers.
(Ben, starting three rows from the front, has a theory that the front two rows false started. There was a count down and the gun failed to fire on ‘Go’. The runners set off and the bang was a moment later. Check his gun /chip times for proof!)
The route is flat into town, flat round town (the market pubs were open at 10:15 on Sunday morning), and flat back out. Doncaster has, I remembered from somewhere long ago, more shops per head than any other town in Yorkshire. We ran past lots of them on our closed roads.
Water bottles were available at half way, back past the racecourse. It was then flat out to the water tower at the top of a slope on Armthorpe Road, the only ‘climb’ of any sort.
This stretch is ‘out and back’, something that many find hard. I counted 28 past in the opposite direction before I saw first Strider, my lad Ben. Down again, and two kilometres of hard effort to the finish. I pushed and pushed and would have no sprint left for the last bit but overtook a few more in this last run in.
Just before the end we turned into the racecourse precinct itself and finished bang in front of the Grandstand (cue Saturday afternoon TV theme). The idea, I think, was for the spectators to move into this space and to cheer in every runner.
After the finish line we were given a medal (complete with horse’s head motif), a pie / quiche, and a hot chocolate. The special t-shirts were extra. The ‘Runner’s Ruin’ gin was more still, but was selling well.
None of the 21 Striders who ran expected a prize, so the recipients of team prizes, fourth placed female age categories and the like are pleased that the Brashes stayed around for the prize giving (especially as the prizes include a bottle of PB Ale).
Though it is not in the Club Road Race Championship, and it clashes with Barnsley (that does) and Clowne Half (with its famous hoodie goodie), I will be very tempted to run this small-town ‘big-city’ race again next year, and as a double-header again. It’s quite sweet, actually.
I ran a life-time 10k PB (even though Strava says I ran 40 metres short and is not showing a 10k run!) at 43:13. Power of Ten confirms my PB, though.
Nick Martin, unattached, in 30:57
Emma Ballantyne, City of York Ac, in 36:53
Full results at:
24 Striders on the finishers list:
|Pos||Name||Gun||Chip||Category||Cat pos||Gen pos|
|25||Ben Jones||00:35:13||00:35:14||Senior Male||18||25|
|67||Hal Roberts||00:37:08||00:37:09||Senior Male||36||66|
|94||Martyn Goldsack||00:38:03||00:37:58||Senior Male||51||92|
|123||Malcolm Baggaley||00:38:52||00:38:47||Senior Male||62||119|
|125||Ashleigh Barron||00:38:56||00:38:52||Senior Female||4||5|
|1363||Adrian Good||00:58:51||00:57:49||Senior Male||381||975|