Nine Wakefield MAG members helped support Wakefield Hospice with their 19th Annual City 10K Road Race, on Sunday 6th April. The Wakefield Hospice 10K is a big fixture in the running calendar, attracting seriously good runners, as well as being the major fund raising event for the Wakefield Hospice, our local charity.
Steve & Justine were there at 08:00 for the race briefing, from Danielle Cain, the Hospice Events Co-ordinator. The only key difference this year in our duties was that they wanted a lead bike, for the front of the pack, with the rest of the bikes looking after the back end of the pack (behind the tail end marshal car) once the road re-opened for traffic after an hour. Our role is to act as mobile race marshals, ensuring the safety of the tail end competitors. Once the road is re-opened, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) are still be on the course, and they will be blissfully unaware the road has been re-opened again to traffic, hence why our role, as highly visible and highly mobile marshals, is vital.
Chas, Martin, Terry & Sharon, Lorna, Pingy and Daz all arrived by 08:30 with the race itself starting at 09:00. We left the start area at 08:50 to take up position on the course, leaving Martin to act as the lead bike (just behind a police car, but next year, there isn't planned to be a police presence (at least leading the race), so we'll probably have that honour).
This year, wheelchairs were back in the race, after an absence of a few years.
They set off first, followed 5 minutes later by the able bodied runners.
The bulk of the runners then passed, followed by the tail marshal car, and then it was our cue to spring into action to marshal the tail-enders.
Unlike the Sheffield Half Marathon which was held on the same day, there was no shortage of water for the competitors in Wakefield ;-)
The race was won by Nathaniel Williams in a time of 33 minutes, 14 seconds (a full minute slower than last years winner, but still a very impressive time, and infinitely faster than I could do it in, as a mere mortal). Technically of course, Wakefield MAG's Martin finished first, on his BMW, and he hadn't even broken a sweat !!! The first woman across the finish line, with a time of 36 minutes and 26 seconds, was Helen Singleton (she was the winning female last year too !!!).
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.
After about an hour and a half, we had safely escorted the vast majority of the remaining competitors to the finish line and their own personal glories !!! Justine was back marker and escorted the tail end competitor, Rebekah Voice, to her coveted last place with a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 4 seconds - a cracking effort though, and she steadfastly refused to give up !!!
Youngsters and fancy dress runners also competed in a 1K Fun Run, and a guest appearance was made by the Dewsbury Rams RLFC mascot, Roger the Ram.
There were 1,550 entries into the 2014 10K race, with 1,350 competing on the day, which was the biggest field in recent years, all good for the Hospice funding of course.
Thanks to the huge turnout, the Hospice are hoping to reach their Fundraising Target of £40,000, which is enough to fund the entire hospice for one week!
Following our obligatory team photo, we all headed our separate ways.
A huge thanks to Steve, Justine, Chas, Martin, Lorna, Pingy, Daz, Terry and 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. We have helped the hospice marshal their prestigious 10K race for a good number of years now, and long may it continue.