I signed up for the Derby 10 mile in the euphoria of completing the Sheffield Half, in the beautiful sunshine, whilst hydrating with a few pints of the finest real ale. I did not pay attention to the route…I skimmed through it and saw the words “scenic”, “fast”, “flat” and “PB course” and thought “yes I will have some of that”.
Once October came and I had completed drying out from the Worksop Half, my attention turned to my next race in two weeks’ time. I gulped when the start and finish point was “that place”. Now a lot of you reading this will be thinking, what on earth is he talking about, bit over-dramatic isn’t it?
Well, to clear things up Derby Arena is in Pride(less) Park which is also the home of Derby County Football Club. This isn’t particularly a place that people like me (Nottingham Forest fans) are welcomed with open arms, it’s certainly never been described as “scenic” but I might be biased. Brian Clough is one of the only figures that unites the two and successfully straddled the divide, so much so, the A52 link road between the two cities is named after him it is such a feat.
As you can therefore imagine, I was very happy to enter the race under the cover of the green and gold of the Striders. I decided to turn my unease into productive energy as I thought at least I had added incentive to get away from the start point and finish as quickly as possible.
The race started at 11.02 as it was Remembrance Sunday, and the two minutes silence was impeccably observed by all in attendance. It was an unseasonably warm and sunny morning, and the previous male and female course records were subsequently broken. Ross Millington and Jip Vastenburg both of Stockport Harriers AC, broke the records with times of 48:37 and 56:17 respectively.
Despite my incentive to record a quick time, I was alas a little far away from a course record. I was pleased to average 8-minute mile pace for 10 miles which was the first time I had managed a time that quick in a race since the last Percy Pud in 2019. As a result, I shaved 2 minutes and 30 seconds off my personal best time and there were strong performances across all the Striders who raced. . The attached (flattering) photo indicates the effort expended at the end to secure a PB and swift exit whilst also highlighting my cheeky nod to my Forest roots in my chosen running attire.
In all seriousness though, I would highly recommend this race as a good introduction to running the distance if you’ve not tried it before. The organisation was excellent from arrival with plentiful parking through to the call to start and marshalling.
Well done to all!
21 Striders ran. The race was won by Ross Millington of Stockport Harriers and AC, in a new course record of 00:48:37. First lady was Jip Vastenburg, also from Stockport Harriers, also with a new course record, in 00:56:17.
Link to overall results see below