Race Date: Friday 15th July 2022
Race Report by: Fiona Tweedie
This was an evening 10k run on paths/closed roads as part of the Durham City Run Festival which had included a 5k, “Families on Track” and a mile challenge.
We were on holiday in County Durham and spotted “Road will be closed” signs when we visited Durham in our first week, so I googled a bit and discovered the 10k Friday evening event. My husband agreed to deal with the going-home-from-holiday packing as we had to be out of the holiday house by 10am on the Saturday, so I signed up.
Back in the “before-times” I was (very slowly) running trail ultras, but I burned out after a few too many in far too short a space of time in Sept 2019. Fast-forward to 2022 and I’m trying to get back after a couple of bouts of COVID-19 and a nasty muscle tear. I was always a party-at-the-back person, and that hasn’t changed!
It was a very well organised event by Events of the North, starting at the racecourse/cricket ground. The 5k route circled the race course then headed into Durham, around the “peninsula” on paths, then up to the Market Square and the finish. All roads were closed and the race route barricaded off. The 10k route did the race course circuits then headed south along the river before returning directly to the town centre. The 5k race left at 7pm, and we were due to leave at 7:20pm, but the 5k runners took a bit longer to clear the common parts of the course, so it was 7:30pm before we got started. There were folk of all shapes and sizes, and various local running clubs were well represented.
I’d run the Trail Outlaws 10 mile event on a lot of the same paths back in May, so I was familiar with the route, which was reassuring. The weather was kind – a sprinkling of rain at the start and it stayed a bit overcast. I just got into a (slow) rhythm and plodded onwards, really pleased with how comfortable I was feeling. We’d been doing a lot of walking/hiking on our holiday, and I’d already put in 5 miles in the morning.
So, down the river paths, over a bridge where there were traffic lights to keep the cars out of our way – I’m so used to trail runs that this was a novelty for me! Back north, then round a lap of the Durham University track which may be the first time I’ve ever run on an actual athletics track. It was nice to then run PAST the path that took us up the final steep hill of the 10mile event, and on into the City of Durham.
Closed roads were still a novelty, and it was weird running near people dressed for a night out in Durham, but up the hill to the Market Square, past the crowds at the finish line, onwards to drop all that elevation back to the river, up through part of the Prince Bishops car park (?!) and circling back around across another bridge to the nasty final hill and the finish. I power hiked the hill (faster than the person running beside me) and turned on the “I am so going to sprint to the finish” grimace and belted for the line. There were loads of crowds to cheer us in (again, a novelty for me who’s used to lonely trail runs!) and I received a text almost immediately after I crossed the line with my finish time. I’d managed 1:16:26 which I was delighted with, especially with all the walks/hikes, the heat etc. I then worked out it was almost exactly twice my current parkrun pb, so really happy!
Shiny medal, decent T-shirt, collection of random stuff in nice tote bag, and I managed to get an ice cream before the nearby shop closed. A good evening out to finish my holiday – now to drive back through the *18* roundabouts in 30 minutes back to the holiday house…
Didn’t bring my Striders vest on holiday, so I’m wearing my Peak District Challenge shirt, and there was no one else listed from SCS.
The first male to finish was Cameron Allan in 31:22.
The first female to finish was Emily Chong in 39:47
The official, full results can be found here.