The Chester 10K is an England Athletics Masters Association, (EAMA) qualifying race.
Report by Dot Kesterton
Race Date: Sunday 10th March 2019
Chester 10K is described as a fast out and back course, North West from the Northgate Leisure Centre to the village of Millington and back to the town centre. I was concerned at the weather forecast for the UK which showed rain, sleet snow and blustery winds across the country so was pleased to wake to drizzle and a breeze and temperatures around 5’, unlike Sheffield which woke to snow.
After a good warm up I stripped to vest and shorts and shivered at the start line waiting for the off. The start, much like Percy Pud is ranked in five minute intervals. I wandered towards the front, ‘elite’, and discovered few athletes filling the space so decided to fill it for them. It’s a bit unnerving hanging about with young men and women who were going to leave me in the dust at the sound of the claxon but no one seemed unduly bothered so I skipped about and admired my goosepimples.
The first mile was all about trying to find a pace I knew I could sustain for 45 minutes or so. I erred on the conservative side, around 7.5 minute mile pacing and used the time to pin my eyes on the man with Chester Triathlon on his shirt running at around my pace so I could try and hang on to him. The turn, at Millington was a big boost because I was running at my normal parkrun pace, around 22:30 at the 5K mark and feeling OK.
At around 8K the course begins the ascent into the town, again reminiscent of Percy Pud. In fact I think I said aloud, “just passed the dam wall now, dig in,” which would only mean anything to a Sheffield runner.
I thought my finish would be a bit ragged but the crowds were yelling and helping keep up my spirits and before long I could see the welcome ‘Finish’ gantry. I managed to push through the pain to the end and was delighted to see the time: 45:26, gun. That would be enough to earn me an age group pb, a Striders club record and most importantly a place in the EAMA 10K race in Birmingham in May. The Chester triathlete was just ahead so that tactic worked well.
I recommend the Aldi Chester 10K road race as a fast and well organised race in a lovely town even if it is the other side of the Pennines.
The men’s race was won by Tomos Roberts of Meirionnydd Running Club in 31:49. The women’s race was won by Faye Lightowler of Pontefract AC in 36:49.
Dot was the sole strider out of 3365 finishers and first in her FV65 age category. Brilliant running Dot!
Link to full results here.