Yesterday saw the 10th installment of the club Grand Prix series – The Bookham 10k, organised by Events To Live.
Mercifully, Storm Imogen had yet to darken our skies and as such we were treated to bright blue and sunny morning. That being said, given the chill, most runners enjoyed the warmth of the race HQ – a lovely little primary school tucked away down a residential road out the back of Bookham. Tea and cakes were on offer and no doubt this was welcome for marshals and runners alike.
The course start line is just on the road outside of the school. Prior to the race starting, as per the tradition of this race, all the runners were invited to sing ‘God Save The Queen’ (the national anthem, not the punk-era defining Sex Pistols’ track of the same name – which would have been even more of a novelty).
This race is famed for its tough course and it starts off with a 1.5 mile climb up a mud and gravel track before a sharp and somewhat death-defying half mile drop back down again. Whilst this brief downhill was of course welcome, what followed was somewhat more challenging with a steep 350ft ascent over the next mile or so – made all the more tricky by the thick and heavy mud underfoot.
The second half of the race is much easier, even if there is a third and final nasty little climb thrown in before the 8km mark. The final mile is all downhill and shortly before exiting the Downs, runners must first pass through the infamous ‘Footwash’ – a rather deep, muddy and 20ft-long puddle. The photos of this section on the Sussex Sport photos website are well worth a look 🙂
Twelve members took part in the race (as well as Kate and Vicki helping out) but special mention should go to Alastair McGeoch-Williams for his first place finish in a time of 42:02 (which should indicate to most of you how tricky the course was) and Steve Ramek who took the Men’s V50 prize. Full results are available online.
The GP competition itself now has just two further fixtures to go – GP11 is Crane parkrun on Saturday 27th February and last but by no means least is GP12, the Fleet Half Marathon on Sunday 20th March – which has now sold out but not before 33 of you signed up!
With two fixtures remaining, Steve Ramek sits top of both Male competitions with Alastair and David George in hot pursuit. Andrea Bennett is sitting pretty atop both Ladies competitions with Sarah Petterfer, Sue Garnish and Ann Bath following behind.