A Gem of a 10K

Gail has done the Standalone 10K on a number of occasions and always said it was a pretty fast course, but generally as a club it hasn’t been on our radar in the past as it means venturing into darkest Hertfordshire without an easy route to get there.

However, our aim to spread the club championship races through the year meant that we thought we’d give it a go this year.

The race is based from Standalone Farm on the outskirts of Letchworth and attracted a field of 1340 runners this year including a band of 13 from LBAC. It is an undulating single loop course and with perfect autumnal weather, our squad was hopeful of some good performances, perhaps even challenging for the team prize in the men’s category.

The race starts with a fairly crazy fast downhill for 200-300m before ascending at least as much on the other side of the dip. There is then a very gradual climb up to about 3K. This makes it sounds worse than it was as it is early in the race and most people were feeling okay.

By the time we got here, the Buzzards were fairly spread out, with Elliot continuing his current form in the lead pack and an even spread of others back to Liz Miller who was targeting a time under the hour.

Another 3.5K of mostly downhill saw some excellent times through half way, with a number of people commenting that they’d be happy with their 5K times in the parkrun, but there was then another couple of km uphill alongside the Letchworth bypass. It was also a little into the wind, so this was the time to tuck in!

The fifth mile was the slowest for most people as it took in most of the hill but it did flatten out for the penultimate km before a very fast finish down the hill we started on and 200m into the farm to stretch your legs.

In terms of performances, the undoubted stars of the day were two people who broke their own club records. Richard Inchley ran 50:37 to break his own V70 record while Elliot Hind remained in the lead pack throughout the race and finished in 4th, just 11 seconds behind the winner in a time of 31:55. Both of these are obviously fantastic performances, in their respective categories.

There were some other solid runs too, with Liz Miller coming home as 3rd V65 and breaking the hour by 33 seconds. Fiona’s time of 52:58 seems to be her fastest according to RunBritain so that can’t be bad. Similarly, it looks like Amy Farnfield ran a PB of 46:37 as well, beating her time from the Leighton 10K. The other lady making up the team and becoming club 10K champion for 2016 was Jo Sharples who had a bit of a battle with David Killick (42:03) and Stuart Dimmock (42:07) before coming home in a strong 42:20.

Just behind this group was Gareth Bird, doing his first race since May. It’s fair to say he wasn’t feeling the love for run, but has entered the Ridgeway this weekend to “get back on the horse”. Ahead of Jo’s group was Stuart Read who just missed the 40 minute mark with 40:19 while Tim Inchley continued his good form with 38:07 and now has sights on sub 38 next time out.

A rare venture for Chris George over 10K saw him come home third for LBAC in 37:26 which is 6mpm all the way and he was satisfied with that, while Andy Inchley was pleased with 36:03 in his first race as a V40, considering his high snot levels!

Unfortunately the men’s team were beaten into second by Bedford who had four in the first seven, but four in the first 40 is pretty good. Most of the team had a mushroom slider (whatever that is?) to recover and hung around to see Elliot collect his winnings.

All in all, a good morning out and definitely worth the trip to darkest Letchworth!