Wilmslow 10k – 24th March 2024

Report by James Lawrence

Growing up in nearby Stockport, Wilmslow was just the posh place the bus went to if you stayed on long enough. The only famous people from there that I know of are the band The 1975 who are in fact more famous because the singer apparently dated Taylor Swift than they are for their music, or so I’m told by young folk who know about these things. My little sister is doing the Manchester marathon relay in a few weeks so I thought since she’s never done an organised race before that we should give it a go so she wasn’t overawed by all the other runners on the day and to see if I could get her running a bit faster so she got used to what that feels like too. Since she still lives in nearby-ish Sale, the Wilmslow 10k (there is a half marathon at the same time too) seemed like a good choice a few weeks before the big day.

The course looked a pretty straightforward and flat affair from the map, starting on the edge of town and going out and back along some country roads and finishing back at a slightly different edge of town. The start was on a residential street off the main road (see photo) with the usual motivational warm up folk and loud PA person from a local radio station. I didn’t see the mayor but I presume they were there as it’s mandatory to the role from what I can tell. I’m more used to starting in schools or town centres so this was a pleasant change, although maybe not for those who lived on that street! It was peculiar to not recognise most of the other running club colours and names but I did spot some other striders from Saltaire (seen them before), Spectrum (I had to look it up, they’re from near Warrington but I don’t know why it’s Spectrum) and lots of Wilmslow Striders with it being their home race and all. After the usual jostling and up and down the kerb near the start, once the field spread out it was a very pleasant meander out into the Cheshire countryside.

There was lots of support around the lanes, including a grilled cheese van which I thought was a bit mean, and the obligatory DJ with loud PA system and motivational dance music to take our minds off the wind in our face.  As the wind died down and the sun came out, we ran past some cows that shouted at us to get a moove on naturally, went down and up the other side of a small dip (in Sheffield terms that is, in Cheshire terms it was a hill) which then lead to the far end of the course and a Millhouses parkrun style U turn, just after a sign saying 10k this way, half marathon that way. By this time the sun was well and truly out and the wind that was left was at our backs so we picked up the pace a little before going the opposite way down and up the dip, though this time it had more impact on tireder legs. Being the supportive big brother, the last couple of km involved me using motivational language such as ‘nearly there’ and ‘keep your legs turning over’ and ‘if you break the last km down into ten 100m chunks it will feel like you’re breezing through it. See, we’ve done two already!’. Unfortunately the responses I was getting back were ‘we’re not nearly there though are we’, ‘I can’t feel my legs’ and ‘F off with your maths’. As always, rounding the final bend the finish line was further away than we thought it would be but we made it over the line at the same time, just over the 50 minute according to the official time, but just under the 50 minute target time for 10k on our watches (which showed course distance of 10.11km so definitely counts as under 50)
A great effort for a first 10k by little sis and a really good sized run with a thoroughly enjoyable countryside road course too, like Bolsover but flatter. I imagine the half marathon route was equally agreeable so I’d definitely consider doing that next year as it’s fairly close and pretty flat so if you like that kind of thing too, one to consider if looking for a PB or just a nice spring run before a marathon maybe. I got a text when I got home later that day to say that she might even say she’d enjoyed it having now had the chance to recover (and sorry for swearing at me) so all in all, a successful morning. I also wondered if anyone had ever totalled up the number of Striders clubs and then tried to run in all their local races. I’m on two after this but will definitely look for more 🙂
Striders Results
Position Name Time Age Category
211 James Lawrence 50.14 M45
1st male was Alex Cooke from the Farm Club in 34.50.  1st female was Charlotte Miller in 38.09.
Full results: here
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