Off we go! – Beds AAA 10k
Beds AAA 10k – Road Club Championships
Here we are, with the first road club champs race of the 2023 season. It seems like only yesterday we finished Cross Country races and were planning out runs and races across a long, endless summer.
Temperatures and rain levels have been up and down since then and we seem to have a month of rain followed by a month of drought with high stifling temperatures or a deluge of washouts, but on we run!
Friday 7th July was the Beds AAA 10k which is put on by our County Athletics Association with a helping hand from our very own Richard Inchley and also doubles up at the road County Championship so we do try to support the race as much as possible. Sadly numbers did seem a little down on previous years on what is a nice and fairly fast course. Set along an old railway close to the River Great Ouse and Priory Country Park in Bedford, the course heads East before doing a loop amongst the trees before returning back the way you came in a classic “lollypop” course. The only real hill is up and over the busy A421 but funnily enough you only really notice it on the way back.
It was a warm evening as the LBAC athletes gathered in the sportshall of the Athletics Stadium, with lots of talk about how a warm up was totally unnecessary in the current conditions! Fortunately the short distance from here to the start line satisfied both those that were warm enough already and those that wanted to give the legs a quick turnover.
At the gun, the runners flew out of the traps disturbing a group of scurrying rabbits and headed off down the course. Sam Dear and Simon Coombes seemed to be pacing and racing each other again after the recent battle at the Marston Forest 5k a month earlier. Tim Inchley, Ruth Mitchell and Warren Rose were also having their own battle around the course, whilst James Lloyd-Knibbs was hoping to give himself a birthday present of running a sub-40 for the first time. Gary Stratford and Amy Farnfield were also pushing for their own fast times.
Having gone through 8km/5miles and back over the bridge over the A421, the finish is a long straight that appears to go on forever. Looking up for that final push and it never seems to get close enough to make one! Every single one of our runners finished well however.
First home was Simon Coombes who pushed on in the second half of the race and finished in 35:08 to finish 3rd overall and as first v50 in the County Champs. Sam Dear followed not too far behind in 35:42 and 5th place with a big 40 second PB. Third in for the club was Tim Inchley, fresh from a Carb Loading holiday in Italy, with Ruth Mitchell following close behind to finish as first lady for the club in times of 40:26 and 40:36 respectively. Ruth was also 3rd lady overall. Warren Rose finished in 40:54 as first v50. James Lloyd-Knibbs unfortunately didn’t quite reach his target of sub-40 but will no doubt be successful soon when it’s not quite as hot! He finished in 41:20. Amy Farnfield, who enjoys running in the heat, finished just off her own PB with a time of 44:02 and was first v35 lady in both the County Championships and on the night, whilst also claiming 2nd lady for the club too. Gary Stratford returned to racing with a time of 45:48.
Full results can be found here.
Excellent running from all in purple and gold and some great results too to kick off the road running calendar!
The next club championship road race is on Saturday 5th August at Great Denham parkrun. It’s free and you can turn up on the day, but you must remember your club vest and your barcode! See you there.