Report By: Kate Waddicor
Race Date: 13th March 2022
A good, tough 20 miler whether you are marathon training or not!
I admit I entered this the day after Norton 9 as I needed a long run and could not face heading out of my front door again to run my usual routes! I looked at races of 20 miles and chose this one as it was nearest to Sheffield.
Organised by Spenborough Athletics Club at the Princess Mary Athletics Stadium, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, WF15 6LW. About an hour from Sheffield.
Plenty of parking at the Stadium, toilets and showers. The club were busy making sandwiches, brewing tea and giving out numbers on the day (mine arrived via the post). There were 75 of us running. The race forms part of the Yorkshire 20 Miles Championships, so whilst a number of us were using this as a long run pre Manchester marathon, several were racing it for the Championship.
It is a two lap course run on roads not closed to traffic, but that felt okay. As this was a training run for me I wasn’t pushing it but was worried when I saw that runners were expected to be back within 3.5 hours!
The course starts and finishes on the track at the Stadium (I liked running on that surface, not something I have done since Sheffield Half moved!). There were three drink stations.
The course was mile marked and there were several marshals at key road changes. As the front runners shot off I was running solo for about 18 miles! I could see a couple of runners ahead most of the time and occasionally someone behind me! I thought I might get lost as I was not that familiar with the course but the marshals were great – always appearing just when I felt the loneliness of the long distance runner! There was very little support on the course except for the marshals who were all great. Most often heard comment from the few locals and walkers was “How far are they running?”. So, quite a low key event. Nice to be running somewhere not too familiar – I have done Liversedge Half and Dewsbury 10k a few times so some of the scenery was recognisable.
The weather was kind, it was dry the whole time, just a little windy on the highest points – they had snow a couple of years ago so I wasn’t complaining.
The elevation was just under 1500 feet (fine for a Sheffield runner).
Nice running onto the track at the end! Great to be first FV 60 (I was the oldest runner, the only V65). I came in 65th place in a time of 3:13:19
Running number gets 10% off at Up and Running and my prize is a voucher to use there. The person giving out the vouchers was very apologetic that it was only for £5.00, but along with the Spen AC buff we all received I’ll take that!
First male 1:57:08 (Frank Beresford, Otley).
First female 2:10:24 (Nicola Devine, Rotherham).
I might do this one again as a race to see what I could do (my PB for 20 miles is 2:48:38 so I think I could get under 3 hours at some point on this one) It is definitely a good one if you are marathon training and want some hills thrown in!
Link to full results here.