25th November 2023
If you’re after a 10k race to kick off the Christmas period, consisting of slightly undulating country roads on the edge of the Peak District, lots of people in festive fancy dress, and a Christmas pudding for every finisher, there’s only one place to go! But if you can’t get a ticket/place/number, are afraid of reservoirs, busy that weekend, or like me just are a sucker for a 10k, Cheddleton Christmas Pudding 10k is a good choice.
Saturday 25th November was the 40th birthday for the race which consists of 3 laps of the country lanes surrounding Cheddleton, Staffordshire. Prior to the 10k was a Fun Run, although there seemed to be differing levels of fun occurring, with some very serious faces on the fastest few youngsters dashing across the finish line. On the flip side I also saw a man dressed as an elf starting the fun run 10 minutes late after not hearing it start, still with mince pie in hand! But no such frivolity for the main event, this was serious business.
Every one of the 317 entrants, be they man, woman, snowman, elf, or Santa knew what came with completing this race. Eternal glory and a midrange Christmas pudding. The race itself consisted of a start up a small hill with a bagpipe player on the top (the hill will feel an eternity if you don’t like pipe music), before about a mile and a half of country lanes surrounded by fields of sheep, cows, horses, and llamas! The last half mile of the lap takes you along a residential lane with locals cheering you on before a steep descent down to the start again. This descent makes for a good way to make up a few seconds on your time as you run/fall with style towards the finish in the village hall, and the welcoming embrace of a Christmas pudding. I first attempted to run this race in 2021, before snow stopped play (for me- the hardy village folk still did the race!) so I was glad to finally take part- a well-supported race ran by all abilities and everyone there had a welcoming attitude. Now bring on the Percy Pud for more Christmas puddings!
The male winner was Jordan Thomas in 31:54 and the female winner was Isabella Shaw in 39:50
Editors note : There was only one Strider in the race, Richard Bailey-Jones, who was sporting a fetching Xmas themed top but with a striders vest over the top because as Colin Hardy says “always race in a vest”