Run on a cold crisp December morning, this two lap 10k (well, more or less) course attracted 23 (24?) 26.2 runners, 15 male and 8 female, for a tour round the roads of Epsom and Ewell. Results and report below.
For the second time this year, thanks to last year’s event being cancelled, we pitched up at Horton Country park for a 10k. This is about as local as it gets for me, being a smidge over a mile from my front door, but it’s not quite so close for everyone else so it was great to see such a good turnout from club members – we outnumbered any other club there other than the old favourite ‘unattached’.
Props first up to our winner – Jack Holland had a clean sweep, being first home for the club in both past the post and age-graded competitions, and taking the prize for first senior man in the 3 race series. Aimee Billington led home the ladies, with just 61 seconds separating the first three, but was pipped to the age-graded win by Zoe Ashcroft, who was only 9 seconds behind. Well done Jane Calderbank, who kept those two honest just a day after (again) being first lady at Kingston parkrun. Mike Bryant completed the run despite still fitting in a Banstead Woods parkrun on Saturday, to finish as first V70. It was good to see a racing return for Lindsay Baldwin, and a steep improvement curve for Steven Ramek, who through the series has gone from 47 to 46 to now only just over 43 minutes here.
The grand prix tables are available in the downloads section and ostensibly show little change, with Joe Chang, Jason Blair and Steve Watkins still leading both competitions for the men, and Aimee, Zoe A and Libby Marchant doing so for the ladies. But a few people, notably Ann Bath in the ladies’ age-graded and Jack in both mens’, have done fewer events and will move dramatically up the table so long as they can do at least 9.
In the race itself, the leading group disappeared, carrying Jack off with them as he continued to deny the fast Elmbridge contingent the glory they wanted. I was surprised not to be led off by quick-start Billington, thanks to a combination of a stomach ache and my own too-quick start. I was soon passed by Steve Watkins who was going like a train, though this was more a case of the little engine that couldn’t, as a recent lack of running led to him slowing down. Jason Blair passed me at halfway, seeming to pause for a minute as he drew up level in case I wanted to join him in, you know, getting on with it, but by then I was done. Conditions were a little slippery in places, and that combined with an uphill finish perhaps explains why so many of us were a minute or so slower than in January – special mention, then, to Simon Gerrard, who can consider 40 second improvement here a very good run.
The 26.2 wave continued behind, with Richard Goulder for once getting ahead of Aimee, Derick Wilkie leaving his son to run his own race in favour of running with a young lady (again), Neil Sunderland doing enough to get ahead of Derick in the overall standings and Ann Bath saving herself for the afternoon’s cross country and still nearly taking the age-graded maximum.
Well done all. Next Grand Prix is the Tadworth 10, which will be cold enough to make grown men weep and put on an extra layer. 2nd January, 1.00pm – see www.tadworth.org.uk/Tadten.html.