Newcastle 10K race. Paul Glover

Newcastle KMF 10K will be my first time doing this race, also it’s my first 10K race since October of last year when I did the Werrington 10K with a PB time of 46:43 although this is a much tougher course I was eager to see what I could do!

The weather forecast for the day was grim to say the least, wind and rain were given out and that’s exactly what we got!

The race was fully sold out so no on the day sign ups, although transfers on race day were permitted. Race numbers and chips were collected on arrival from race HQ which was situated at Newcastle Athletics club house. Today’s race is also part of the NSRRA series so there is always going to be an extra bit of competitiveness between runners taking part in the race leagues, all good fun.

We arrived nice and early to avoid any problems with parking although I don’t think this was ever going to be an issue as there was plenty of allocated parking at Newcastle College and St John Fisher High School, the only thing that let the parking down was the lack of marshals guiding people to available spaces so it was a bit hectic when things got busy.

Number collected and ready to go! as we had arrived early there was still some time to kill so this was a perfect opportunity to catch up with some of the other runners, it’s always a great friendly atmosphere on race days.

The facilities were very good with changing areas, toilets and refreshments available at the club house before and after the race, although it did get rather packed at one point as everyone was trying to stay inside away from the wind and rain.

The race starts at 10am and this was fast approaching, time to get everyone together and get closer to the start line. As usual we had a large number of Stoke F.I.T. at today’s race, 32 affiliated club runners and quite a few that are not yet full members plus our usual large number of supporters that come along to cheer us all on, as you can imagine it was a very impressive sight to see all that red and white together, with still some time to kill those who wanted to got on and did their warm up.

10am Let the race begin! the start was from outside the sports centre on Knutton Lane, as soon as everyone had gathered and it turned 10 O’clock off we went, no hanging about listening to a speech on this one! the first mile was fairly flat and fast paced with everyone just finding their own pace, as the rain was still coming down I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy race, it was cold, wet and windy.. Although this was a local race I hadn’t been round the course and didn’t know the route, I had heard there was a long steady climb near the start, indeed there was, it’s called Black Bank and it just seemed to go on forever, hills are not my strongest point so I decided just to keep a steady pace going, I knew going to fast would just tire me out for the rest of the race, I didn’t mind the fact that I was getting overtaken on the climb, I knew I would be seeing some of these guys again later in the race…. At last the hill climb was over with and I could now start my race, as with any hill once you get to the top there’s always a nice downhill to follow so as predicted I started passing runners that had overtaken me on the hill and were now out of steam, powering past other runners is very satisfying indeed and proved to me that taking it steady up Black Bank was the right thing for me to do.

There was one drinks station about the half way point which for some was most welcome, as they were just plastic drinks cups I think I managed a small sip but spilled most of it down myself (as if I wasn’t wet enough). Around the 7K point the race went off the main roads and onto a foot path that was once used as a rail track, although it is now a nice smooth tarmac route and a fairly flat run to the finish, it did go quite narrow though so it was difficult passing runners who had bunched together, eventually the finish was in sight and with around 500 meters left I just used up what little I had left in the tank, I finished with a chip time of 46:22 this was a PB (only just) but I found today very tough going so overall I can’t complain to much!

The race was won by Felix McGrath of Westbury Harriers with an outstanding time of 33:27

Stoke F.I.T’s first male affiliated runner home was Martin Kaine with a time of 42:03 Our first lady home was Clare Nixon in 46:03 Brilliant times by both.
You can see the full race results here:

All finishers received a medal for completing the race, this also doubled up as a bottle opener which was handy as we also all received a bottle of beer from the club house, happy days!

All in all this small friendly race was only hampered by the weather otherwise very enjoyable and I would certainly recommend you try it next year. Thanks to everyone at Newcastle (Staffs) A.C. for organising today’s race.