Midlands Spitfire 10k Result & Report

Race Date: Sunday 27th August 2023

Race Report by Robin Nelson

I had simple hopes for this year’s Spitfire 10k: to improve my time, and to get a medal with three moving parts (they’re increasing with each visit). These thoughts eclipsed trivial questions like ‘has the course changed?’.

I’ve come to appreciate the usual route as more novel than interesting, flat with an out-and-back runway centrepiece, but I’ve returned to this event three times in as many years due to personal connections with the site, which I talked about in my report last year.

Runners gather at the start with the airfield behind

A glance at the map during number pick-up revealed changes to the first 3km; the original start, a loop around the visitor centre and several large aircraft, was gone, and now featured a diversion to skirt two rectangles which I mistook for buildings; they were actually featureless tarmac spaces out on the airfield.

Once underway, I realised that the new diversion had also replaced the meandering service road to the runway, cutting out some greenery and two grass topped hangars; but then the biggest sting: the relentless out and back along the runway had to be done twice, 4 km in total. Supporters back at the start were treated to a confusing, distant spectacle of massed runners going back and forth, over and over again, not unlike that film of the curly wurly at Somerdale Pavilion parkrun.

In front of the spitfire exhibit in the museum

The organisers acknowledged that the changes had resulted in a slightly long course (by my watch 230 metres or 58 seconds added!), and there were some runway crosswinds including one brief sideways rain shower, but happily I managed to improve on my time. The medal was sustainable wood, no moving parts but a nice design. A flying balsa wood aeroplane medal is surely the obvious choice for next year (and hopefully a rethinking of the route).

Medals & my Roll Of Honour card (couldn’t wear it due to a postal mix up!)

I was the sole Strider in a field of 817. The men’s race was won by Bruce Fanshawe of Aldridge RC in a time of 0:35:08. Jemma Radmore of Ludlow Runners won the women’s race in a time of 0:45:28.

Strider Results

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
63 Robin Nelson MV50 5 0:44:28

Full results can be found on the Nice Work website.

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