Race Date: Sunday 7th May 2023
Having seen that it was the last ever Pontefract 10k on my husband’s birthday we booked a Premier Inn (nothing but the best for him on his birthday) and headed out on Saturday morning to do the Pontefract Parkrun with a local friend. Thus, achieving the first part of the 5k app’s “The full Ponty” challenge, a group of visitors from Wales were ticking off their final “Ponty”. This was a lap and a bit around the racecourse, I presumed this would be flat and decided to take it easy in preparation for the next day, but found a sting in its tail with a hill heading back up the course and a little hill to the finish line. The racecourse was also the location for the start / finish of the Pontefract 10k the following day.
The following morning dawned warm and muggy with a bit of drizzle pre-race, which didn’t return during the race. When I headed over to pick up my number I found a group of Sheffield Running Club members and we had a quick discussion about the course, the times we were hoping for and as we are British, the weather.
My main mission was then to try and beat my colleague Paul (not the husband who also works with me). Paul has been running longer than me but my current 10k PB is slightly faster than his, albeit having been set on the relatively easy course of Dewsbury but I was still hoping to be able to take him down. Knee and foot niggles had hampered my training and I am not the best at hills but we set off together and had a comfortable first 5k. Around this point the course decided to throw you down a steep hill, only for you to circle a roundabout and head back up a steep hill on the other side. As we began the climb I shouted to Paul in my best melodramatic voice “Just leave me” and he slowly pulled away from me, finishing in a time of 56:39 ending my hopes of victory. However, I carried on embracing all the hills until finally at the 9k point we began a steep downhill into the finish. I was pleased to be able to get under the hour mark and finish in the top 3 of my ALS coworkers😛. There was great support in the first and last km but the middle section of the race was further out in the countryside and more sparsely populated. Finishers received both a medal and t-shirt. It’s a shame that this was the last time the event will be held, hopefully someone else can try and takeover an event in that area.
The race was won by the formidable Scott Hinchcliffe (Barnsley AC) in a time of 31:57, with a 3 minute gap before 2nd place, first lady was Venika Moverley (East Hull Harriers) in a time of 38:25. I was the only Strider finishing in 550th place out of 1020.
Full Results: here