Race Date: Sunday 22nd September 2019
Report by Andrew Long
Since my somewhat low-key return to the green and gold I’ve not been racing much.
I’m on a one person mission to find races that I can be first strider in (a great plan which had me up in Durham on the hottest night of the year only to be thrashed by Jo Carnie on her adopted home turf).
To Stafford anyway. It’s a single lap race which starts and finishes in the Market Square. It’s the second time I’ve run it and thankfully this year they’d solved the bottleneck that had us all walking through the start in 2018.
The route takes you out on to a narrow path by the side of a busy road at about 5k with limited overtaking opportunities then down onto the Isabel Trail (think a narrower version of Monsal Trail) which also doubles as Stafford’s parkrun and back into town. Just as you can see the finish line in the distance, you realise you’re coming at it from the wrong direction with a loop back round onto the Main Street and what is always a fantastic sprint finish.
The race is flat, but the course means it’s not a classic fast one. The race is also always on the same weekend as the Sheffield 10k which explains why there’s only ever a single Strider involved.
My chip failed so there was no start or finish time. Fortunately I’d realised before the timing team (from chiptiming.co.uk) left and they took my Strava time, along with us watching back the finish video (they always video all runners finishing in case this happens). I’ve included this as it might come in handy for someone in the future.
Me, a seasons best 55.57. The race was won by James Eggleston (Telford Harriers) in 33.42 with 2018’s first female Georgia Chattwood (Cannock & Stafford AC) again first home in 13th place overall in 36.05
More information https://www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/index/stafford-10k/