Seven of us assembled at Clarence Park in Wakefield on Sunday 3rd April, at the ungodly hour of 08:30 to support Wakefield Hospice with their 21st 10K run. The Wakefield Hospice 10K is a big fixture in the running calendar, attracting seriously good runners, as well as being the major fund raiser for the Wakefield Hospice.
Wakefield MAG have helped to marshal this popular event for more years than we care to remember, and our main role, is as mobile race marshals, designated to ensure the safety of the tail end competitors, once the road had been re-opened to traffic, but also to summon help quickly if needed at any point in the race. The road closure duration seems to be getting shorter every year, and although the bulk of runners will be finished whilst the road was still closed, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) would still be on the course, hence the requirement for mobile marshals (that's us !!) to ensure their safety. We are generally the last 'officials' remaining on the course, and hence play a vital role.
We left the start area at 08:50 to take up position on the course, leaving Justine behind so she could join the back of the race and be a very visible 'back marker'. The race started at 09:00 and it wasn't long before the lead runners came storming past us. The bulk of the runners then passed, and then it was our cue to spring into action to marshal the tail enders. Chas was first into action having to summon a first aider to a runner who had collapsed. Fortunately, it wasn't serious and they carried on and finished the race.
The winner of the race (Matthew O'Connor of the Wakefield District Harriers AC) finished after 32 minutes and 52 seconds, and the fastest female competitor (Jenny Latham, also of Wakefield District Harriers AC) finished after 36 minutes and 25 seconds ... impressive stuff.
After about 45 minutes traffic was being progressively allowed onto the road, so we took it in turns to ride the course, park up and observe and make sure the runners/walkers were safe.
Wakefield MAG member Sandie Wood (who has marshalled the event in previous years), decided to run it this year and finshed with a most respectable time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 13 seconds (Well Done Sandie !!!).
The last competitor to complete the run was Alison John-Baptiste, of the Ackworth Road Runners, who finished after 1 hour, 56 minutes and 20 seconds.
Following our obligatory team photo, we all headed home (some of us via Redbeck for a healthy fried breakfast ;-). A huge thanks to Steve, Justine, Mark, Chaz, Martin, Terry & Sharon for helping to marshal this years race, and for the very early Sunday morning start.
It is great to be able to support our local charity in a non-monetary way, and in a way which is so very useful to them. More than 2000 runners took part in the 2016 Wakefield Hospice 10k (the largest to date), and it raised a record £55,000 for the charity.
We have since recieved a nice Thank you letter from the Hospice, thanking us for our contribution.
Read more about the event in the Wakefield Express Report: runners-hit-the-road-for-wakefield-10k