Race Date: Tuesday 27th December 2022
Race Report by Robin Nelson
I spotted this race a couple of years ago while looking for a Christmas holiday run, local to my family in South Staffordshire. After 2 years of missing the call for entries, I finally grabbed a place for 2022.
The event, organised by Newport & District Running Club, takes place on the 27th of December every year, whatever day of the week it falls on. This was the 10th edition. The single lap course starts with a short section through the village of Wheaton Aston before heading out to the surrounding lanes, and is described as “scenic, flat and fast”. Why is it called the ‘Roman’ 10k? I have no idea.
The weather was so bitterly cold during the build up, I switched to long sleeves before joining others heading out and back down the nearest lane for a good warm up run. A fair amount of Christmas fancy dress was on show, including a two-man Rudolph, a Grinch, a penguin and a scouser(?).
The start line became jam-packed as 11am approached, so with no room to move to a better spot, I had to weave a little to get up to speed once we were off. I’m told Rudolph’s front end went AWOL for the first section, leaving the rear to carry the whole costume twisted around him “like a roadkill costume” (photos suggest they were later reunited). There were a few potholes and muddy puddles to navigate once we were on our way, and with the roads open, the occasional car to make room for.
The course was well marshalled, and featured mile markers and a water station at the halfway point. By the time the ‘2 Miles’ sign appeared I felt like I’d done 3, and tried not to dwell on having forgotten my ritual pre race banana.
This was my last race of the year, and with steady improvement over my previous three 10k efforts, I was hoping to maintain the trend; but despite the fast course and the push of a sprint battle to the finish line (which I lost), I fell 20 seconds short of my Doncaster City 10k time. On the plus side, it was my 3rd quickest 10k ever; the entry fee included a nice long sleeved shirt (featuring Roman numerals); and my nephew joined me for his first race, so we may have a new member for the running cult.
445 runners took part in the Wheaton Aston Roman 10k. Winner of the men’s race was Dylan Gillett of Telford AC, in a time of 31:39. Chloe Dooley of Optima Racing Team won the women’s race, in a time of 36:31.
Full results can be found on the StuWeb website.