Goose Fair Gallop

Race Date: Sunday 9th October 2022

Race Report by Neal Pates

“The ever-popular Goose Fair Gallop is run in the stunning surroundings of the Bennerley Viaduct and the Erewash Canal. The mainly flat route will take runners along canal towpaths and country trails, crossing the ‘Iron Giant’ that is Bennerley Viaduct.”

This is description offered on the race info webpage. In fact, I entered oblivious to this, and drawn only by the name, which had nostalgic appeal. I grew up in Nottingham, and the annual ‘Goose Fair’ loomed large in every kid’s schedule of pre-Christmas hysteria. Much bigger than Halloween at the time. Satisfyingly, the race goodie bag included a toffee apple, which is almost up there with a coconut or a ‘cock-on-a-stick’ in terms of Goose Fair fare, but I digress.

Neal crosses the ‘Iron Giant’

The race is hosted by Kimberley & District Striders. This was the 35th GFG, and celebrated a new route, taking in the newly restored and opened ‘Iron Giant’; the longest wrought iron viaduct in the country. The viaduct spans the River Erewash floodplain, which makes for a brief up and down interlude to an otherwise flat course, largely running along canal towpaths and disused railway lines. Once up the stepped access, views during the 1/3 mile traverse are a pleasant interlude (if your eyes aren’t bleeding too much), before a twisty ramp back down to the last 3k flat dash back to MFN.

MFN apparently stands for ‘Miles From Nowhere’, and was a little tricky to locate. However, it offered a decent venue, being a local biker and hard rock haunt. I was amused when the grey-haired-biker venue host emerged, clad only in a tartan dressing gown and slippers, to let us know he was opening the ladies toilets inside, due to the queue at the outside facilities. It was like a scene from ‘This Is England’.

Lone Strider Neal crosses the finish line

The race itself was exceedingly well managed. From the despatch of the race numbers in a specially themed envelope, to the printed-out race times collected at the finish, with abundant support from the Kimberley Striders volunteers in between, it felt like a welcoming experience. The entry fee was one of the best value I’ve experienced, with a fantastic long-sleeved souvenir t-shirt included, along with a banana and the afore-mentioned toffee apple. Water was provided halfway, and at the finish.

Neal models the finisher’s Goose Fair Gallop long sleeved shirt

All in all, I’d encourage anybody to support this almost-local race. I was surprised to be the only Steel City Strider there. Maybe next year there’ll be a few more of us representing the green & gold.

Useful Links

FB Page –
Race Info –

The winner was Stuart Laurie of Kimberley & District (MV35-44) in 38:23. First lady was Salome Maybanks of Beeston AC (FV35-44) in 46:01. Neal Pates, sole SC Strider (MV55-64) finished 32nd of a field of 209 finishers in 47:17.

Striders Results

P Name Cat Cat P Time
32 Neal Pates MV55-64 4 47:17

Full results can be found on the JC Race Solutions website.

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