Race Date: Sunday 16th October 2022
Race Report by Robin Nelson
It was a cool, bright day in Chesterfield on Sunday October 16th, good conditions for the 10th fixture in the Striders Road Race Championships, the Redbrik Chesterfield 10k. Free town centre parking was allocated to runners, making it a short walk with fellow Striders Chris Smith & Kevin Wong to Queens Park and the start/finish line. All the customary facilities were arranged around the green, and a good contingent of Striders was gathering.
This year I’ve tried to pick fixtures I’ve never run before. The Chesterfield 10k was one such race, but I learned that cobbles and some minor hills were the only terrain of note, so I was hopeful of improving this year’s 10k time.
It was a thoroughly sponsored event; Redbrik had plentiful ‘for sale’ signs, and weren’t holding any back. The race pack was a RedBrik bag with a RedBrik technical tee and a RedBrik magazine marginally slimmer than the IKEA catalogue, which explained the £5 postage fee – ouch! Thanks to Laura Mella and any other Striders who instead picked up a few race packs on behalf of others (from Redbrik Estate Agents of course!).
After I’d deposited my Redbrik goodies at the bag drop and had a short jog, we were coaxed into the start pen for a captive warm up routine, which would have made an impressive mosh pit if we’d all thrown ourselves into it. A short delay followed due to the traditional ‘car driven on to the course somewhere’ and then we were off.
The route was on closed roads around the town, and was well supported in parts; Social Secretary Schofield had even made the trip to cheer from a grassy knoll before cross country duties, thanks Neil!
I started between the 45 and 40 minute pacers. A mile or so in, the 45 minute runner came past me; unlike me, he appeared to be running an even pace, ie powering up the hills and not using the downhills so much. When he came past a second or third time with a small entourage, it was annoying enough to make me kick on and escape the distraction. Whatever helps!
I didn’t spot any distance markers (Redbrik sign blindness?), and I avoided checking the distance on my watch, so it was great when I heard the first marshal shouting “not far to go!” and recognised the entrance to the park from earlier. A lap and a half spiral to the finish was a slight sting in the tail; but the cobbles had been pretty flat, the hills not too hilly, and I’d escaped that 45 minute pacer, finishing where I’d hoped.
Catching our breath on the grass and draped in heart-shaped Redbrik medals, word got around that Strider Rob Byers had won; that and news of a few Strider PBs could not even be spoiled by the food tent running out of bacon.
Finally, a word for those Striders who immediately jetted off to represent us at Norfolk Park, great work!
832 runners took part in the 10k. Winner of the men’s race was our own Robert Byers in a time of 00:32:56, a new course record. The women’s race was won by Hayley Gill of Matlock Athletics in a time of 00:37:45. 42 Striders took part.
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Full results can be found on the FR Systems website.