The 23rd Wakefield Hospice 10K race was held on Sunday 25th March, and took a similar route to previous years: starting from Clarence Park, it's a linear route straight out and back along Horbury Road, but with a new dog leg around 1km in and a revised route to the finish line once back at Clarence Park (see route map below).
The Wakefield 10K Road Race is organised for and by Wakefield Hospice, with the aim to raise as much as possible for patients and their families living with an end of life diagnosis. Wakefield Hospice annually needs to raise £4 million and the Wakefield 10K is their biggest fundraiser. It's also a popular event in the running calendar and attracts some seriously good amateur athletes.
Wakefield MAG have helped to marshal this popular event for more years than we care to remember, and our role is as mobile race marshals, looking after those competitors at the tail end of the race. The roads are only closed for an hour maximum, and although the bulk of runners will be finished whilst the road is still closed, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) will still be on the course, hence the requirement for mobile marshals (that's us !!) to ensure their safety, once the road is re-opened to traffic. We are generally the last 'officials' remaining on the course, and hence play a vital role.
This year, we had eight marshals who assembled at Clarence Park in Wakefield at the ungodly hour of 08:30 (on a Sunday !!!) to support Wakefield Hospice with their 23rd 10K run.
We would have been nine marshals only Sam Allen forgot the clocks went forward, and only realised when it was twenty minutes to the start time of the race (she's a fast rider, but even on her Ducati, 20 minutes from Sowerby Bridge to Wakefield would have been somewhat optimistic). Notably absent from our regular marshalling team was Martin Burgess, who swapped leathers for shorts and T shirt to run the race this year.
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 runner, Brendan Moody, came storming past us (in fact, he led for the entire race).
The bulk of the runners then passed (including someone riding a Unicorn), and then it was our cue to spring into action to marshal the tail enders.
The winner of the race (Brendan Moody of Barnsley Athletics Club) finished after 33 minutes and 9 seconds, and Johnno had followed him for most of the route on his bike and he was clocking around 12-13 MPH for the whole 10K ... impressive stuff. The first female to finish was in 8th place, Sarah Potter of University of Sheffield Athletics Club, with a time of 35 minutes and 45 seconds.
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. Lorna had to give one of the runners a lift after he had ripped his thigh muscle - lots of shouts of cheat as they crossed the finish line, but then they were quiet when the paramedics arrived to give emergency treatment. One or two issues with car drivers insisting on wanting to use Horbury Road when it was closed off, which is always slightly annoying (and the excuses were lame in the extreme - 'I'm just going to the paper shop over there for my newspaper' .... er, walk you lazy ****). Also annoying were a group of MAMIL Cyclists (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) who patently didn't think the road closure applied to them and rode down the road alongside the runners. Still, minor issues in the grand scheme of things.
Our man Martin Burgess finished after 1 hour and 4 minutes, in 1,244th position, and 35 minutes after the winner. A good result for a first 10K though and he looked fresh as a daisy at the end !!!
The last pair to complete the run were Moira Howey (in her 70's) and Lorraine Martin-Speight, who Justine acting as back marker, brought home after just over 2 hours.
The 10K had been a most successful event, with 1,569 runnerd actually taking part (not including those who enrol but don't turn up on the day), so it should have been a bumper fund raiser for the Hospice. 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.
A huge thanks to Steve, Justine, Mark, Chas, Lorna, Johnno, Terry, sharon and Sam (Webley, not Allen, who had a lie in bed ;-) for helping to marshal this years race, and for the very early Sunday morning start. Well done everyone !!!!
And the post event verdict from Martin:
"Having helped marshalled this event many times previously, this year I decided I'd take part in the actual race and raise some money for the Hospice fund. I'd just like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with the event and especially my pals at Wakefield MAG for marshalling and generously sponsoring me .... with your help I raised a grand total of £415.00 for a great cause. My overall time was 1 hr 4 mins 40 secs which I was very happy with. I did hurt a little afterwards but totally enjoy the experience .... needless to say I hope to be back next year, but probably back on the bike as a marshal again .... Ha Ha!!!
Thank you everyone.
More details of the event here: www.wakefield10k.org.uk