What a day, what a race!!
Last years Wickham 10k started outside of the village, so as not to clash with the Wickham Festival, being held over the same weekend. This year we decided to move the start nearer to the village centre, using the Wickham Centre as the hub for the race.
200 runners lined up on the start line in Mill Lane, for the start of the 10k race, with Steve Wardle, co founder of the Alex Wardle Foundation, ready to head out in front as the ‘pace car’.
Bang on 10am the race started, with the runners heading uphill for the first 300 meters. The course was, to say the least, undulating, but you know what they say, for every uphill there is a downhill, and runners were soon able to suck in the air as they headed down hill, out of the village.
Earlier on the day, the roads had been closed, with the kind permission of Winchester City Council and with great support from Neil Driscoll (Fareham Crusaders), and his team at Ashtead Plant.
Once the 10k runners had all passed through the 2km marker, it was time for the 5k to start. With only 7 entrants, it was an intimate affair, with runners introducing themselves to each other on the start line 🙂
Off they went, and so both races were now on.
For the 1st time, we were using a GPS tracker to monitor the position of the tail runner in the 10k race, which allowed us to keep marshalls informed. The water station, at the 5k mark, was located outside the front of one of the residents of Gravel Hill. We wish to pay a massive thank you to her, and for keeping the marshalls at the water station supplied with tea & coffee!
After 22 minutes, the familiar figure of Ross Wayne came running down the hill, winning the 5k race in an impressive 22.58, followed closely behind by Rural Running events ever present Bruce Richards (23.38). In the ladies race, Zodwa Chasokela finshed in 1st place (32.02) with Amy Green coming in closely behind (32.44).
It wasn’t long until local Fareham Crusaders runner, James Hughes appeared, crossing the line to win the 10k race in 36.27, impressive for such a hilly, unfamiliar course. Following close behind was Denmead Striders runner, Neil Williams (37.48) with Ian Howard from Itchen Spitfires coming in third in a time of 37.54.
In the ladies 10k it was Rachael Phelps, from Lewes Running Club who took the honours, wining in a time of 40.55. Fareham Crusader Lucy Bartlett (46.17) took second place, with Southampton AC runner Lucy Harrison coming third (46.39).
There were loads of PB’s over the 10k course, and lots of smiling faces.
Brett Rumfitt from Baffins Fitclub said ‘the course was a lot better than last years. It was much tougher, but I really enjoyed it’.
Finally we would like to thank all the supporters and especially the volunteers who helped make the event the success it was, and thanks also to the residents of Wickham, Swanmore and Shirrell Heath, who welcomed us and supported the event.
Thank you everyone 🙂