Report By: Lucy Broom
Race Date: Sunday 19th December 2021
Rother Valley 5k
The Rother Valley 5k is advertised as a fast and flat loop around the country park, with chip timing on an accurately measured course (more of that later). There is also a 10k and half marathon going off at the same time.
Race morning was pretty nippy, with the car showing 0.5 degrees. On arrival, sat nav took me down a dead end dirt track, along with numerous other cars who also believed the postcode for the park, would take them to the park. A heads up would’ve been nice!
Unfortunately this was the start of further frustrations in a poorly organised event. Having found the park and parked, I joined a crowd of people looking for registration (no signage and foggy!). After registering and warming up, the next challenge was to find the 5k start. The website showed that the 10k and half marathon started on one side of the lake at (9.45), and the 5k on the other (at 10.00). At 10am, there were just 5 of us waiting anxiously at a path junction, with no sign of anything to indicate a race, or the other 50 competitors. The two poorly briefed marshalls were unable to confirm where exactly the race would start, or in which direction we would be running.
The half marathon eventually came past us around 20 minutes late, and was followed by the officials and timing mat, and the other 5k runners, who had been waiting at the main start. I was pretty fed up by this point and my toes were numb. We were then told that they would start the race in 10 minutes, after the 10k came past, and that we should go off and keep warm – which a few of us did – only to see to our dismay, the 5k starting 4 minutes later. There followed a mad dash to the start, shedding layers on the way to join the back of the pack.
The actual race was uneventful, just painful, as 5k tends to be. The loop is flat, but does require some dodging around people walking on the track (which I hadn’t anticipated). Not so much a problem for me, but definitely a problem for the winner, who was targeting 15.40, and told me he needed to keep slowing down for kids and dogs.
I was quite pleased with 20.25, but less pleased when I learnt that the chip timing didn’t appear to work (no explanation, but the 10k and half marathon results had gun and chip times and the 5k only chip times). I can only imagine that moving the timing mat caused a problem. Ordinarily gun time would be fine in such a small race, but not in one where you are nowhere near the start when the gun goes off!
First man was Jonathon Beharell from City of Sheffield and Dearne AC in 16.12, and first woman was Katarzyna Raczkiewicz, unaffiliated in 19.06. Lucy was second female and lone Strider in the 5km, with 47 finishers.
5K Striders Results
*time shown on website but Lucy has 20:25 – all a bit arbitrary under the circumstances!
10k – no Striders
Half Marathon Striders Results
|1 (2nd lady)
Full results here.