Chichester 10K Incorporating the British Masters (BMAF) 10k Championships
4th February 2024, Goodwood Motor racing Circuit
This was the first race of the year for me and ridiculously far away for a 10K road race when Dewsbury was on the doorstep but The BMAF chose the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit for the annual Championship race so I had to forgo the pleasure of a fast and flat Dewsbury for a fast and nearly flat Chichester 250 miles away which, it occurred to me, is only a little further than Jennie Stevens ran last month in the Spine. My thanks to Jennie for your inspiring talk the evening before setting off for the race.
I knew this one would be a challenge for me. My main rivals for the VW70 title were Yuko Gordon, former Olympian, and Sarah Roberts who regularly tops the UK W70 rankings at Parkrun. Other noted athletes had entered too so my aim was to medal if at all possible. My training and preparation had gone well despite missing the all important Percy Pud 10k race in December.
Kate Waddicor, VW65 and I represented Striders and quite possibly the North of England. There were 1200+ runners of whom 241 were registered for the BMAF Championship and 9 for the W70 category. You know who is a British Masters entrant because they wear a card with their age group on their back so you can see your rivals disappearing into the distance as you shuffle along wishing you’d put your reading glasses on at the start line.
The route followed a 3.7k circuit of the of the stadium before leaving Goodwood for the open road and two out and back sections including along the interestingly named Pook Lane.
As is my pattern I started very strongly at around 4.5 minute km pace, keeping the two elite women in my sights. Sarah Roberts, Dacorum, kept a steady pace throughout. Yuko, Fairland Valley Spartans, a consummate professional, started at around 4.40k pace and gradually built into the race, eventually pulling ahead of myself and Sarah to finish with a burst of speed in first W70 place in 45:39 chip. I pulled on all my resources to narrow the gap as we re-entered the stadium finishing as third W70 in 46:34 chip behind Sarah Roberts, 45:56. We were within 55 seconds of one another and four minutes ahead of the next VW70. Kate followed as 4th WV65 in 50:33 chip, narrowly beaten into 4th age group place which, as she is right at the upper end of her age group, was a great achievement. I look forward to Kate joining the ever increasing awesome Septuagenarian Strider women athletes later this year. If one other Strider W70 had joined us we’d have been strong contenders for a team prize. I hope we can persuade a few fellow athletes to join us for other BMAF fixtures over the course of the year. Please check the BMAF Website for further details or speak to Kate or myself.
The race was won by Jack Woods, MSEN, Worthing and District Harriers, in 30:17. First woman was Lauren Hall, FSEN, Aldershot, Farnham & District in 33:19.
Full results: here