Alton Water Great Local Run result and report by Stuart Jones

Race/Run Date: Sunday 11th August 2019

I’m on holiday over in Suffolk and the only local race / run I could find for this morning was this, a local edition of the Great Run Local – like a younger-and-aware-of-it sibling of parkrun. Actually, they are from the organisation that brings us the Great North / Manchester / South / Scottish / Eastern Run and so on, so they have something of a pedigree. This is part of their ‘giving back’. It is a free, weekly timed run of 5 km on the shore of the beautiful Alton Water where I shall be sailing all week (as soon as the wind drops to safe speeds). There are a few across the country, but only one in Yorkshire (Whitby).

I think this one will not actually count towards the Long Distance Strider totaliser, but I’m going to form an argument as to why it should (and then probably shoot myself in the foot):

‘How much Great Run Local is like any other race’

For each of the following criteria I have ranked examples on a scale of one to five, meaning ‘Always, or as good as’, ‘Most of the time’, ‘About half the time’, ‘Occasionally’ and ‘Almost never, or never’. I have then scored Great Run Local along with parkrun and all the races I have done that have counted already this year towards my LDS ranking.

Great Run Local (Alton Water) LDS-acceptable races parkrun
Alpha male competitors, competing to be first and so impress 1 1 1
Start / finish line clearly marked 1 2 1
Backmarkers 2 3 1
Accurately measured routes 2 2 2
Results published on-line 1 2 1
Pre-entry available 1 2 1
Entry on the day possible 1 3 1
Dogs on short leads 2 4 2
‘Merch’ available 1 2 1
Goody bags 5 3 5
A briefing that can’t be heard 2 3 2
No water on the route 2 4 2
Fabulous setting 1 3 2
Free entry 2 5 2
Prizes for first finishers 5 1 5
Age Gradings or Categories 1 1 1
Mixed terrain 2 2 2
Little ‘uns that set off too fast but can be caught 1 5 1
Associated fun run / shorter version 1 4 1
Has the word ‘Run’ in the title 1 5 1
Women wearing leggings in summer, inexplicably 2 1 1
Pacesetters 4 4 3
Tech in use for results e.g. Chip timing 1 3 1
Feeds into Power of Ten rankings 5 2 1
Windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, paddle-boarding, cycling, walking, bird-watching, camping, playgrounds, wood-fired over pizza all available 4 5 4
Runners wear a number, visible at all times 5 1 4

Which all seems to suggest that Great Run Local is like a race, but not a race; is like parkrun but even less like a race than that; and is still great fun and a good way to start a holiday.

Results here

First Finisher was Dan Sedgwick of Ipswich Jaffa in 20:52.

First female (6th overall) was Cathy Bruneau (unattached) in 22:34

Only Steel City Strider was Stuart Jones in 22:59 (8th place out of 47 finishers in the 5k this week)

(If I have my car fixed by Friday I have found a five mile road race just north of Ipswich – trying to stay ahead of Mark Platton and keep a top five position in the LDS.)

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