The 13th Sheffield TEN10TEN Race
This is a tricky one to plan for because it has such wide surface variations underfoot from easy, broad road sections to grassy rises and from spongy field to ankle breaking tree roots. Son Joel and I walked the more difficult parts and discussed the merits of road v trail shoes, finally opting to play safe with a more grippy sole.
The annual Ten10Ten race was a delight. Unseasonably mild, even warm with lots of fellow Striders, Smileys and assorted runners, young and old descending on Endcliffe Park for the early autumn jamboree. Music blared, children leapt into action and officials strutted their stuff and got us all into our various pens ready for the off.
Just coming back to form after minor knee surgery I had no idea how today’s race would pan out. I’d had the pleasure of spectating for 10 days at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Italy last week watching records tumble and seeing extraordinary athleticism including from Sheffield’s Jed Turner and World M70 100m Champion Steve Peters so I was motivated to give this one my best shot.
It’s a two lap course from Endcliffe Park through Bingham Park, rising on slippery grass and mud to an uneven trail through the Porter Valley before a steady descent along the river and back to Endcliffe. That means you should be able to work out your negative split in advance by taking a measured approach for 5k before blasting lungs and every muscle on the second leg to come in triumphant. That’s the theory anyway. In the event most of us in our enthusiasm go off too fast, slog the first hill, stagger round Bingham and die somewhere around Queen Victoria cursing the fact we’ve now got to do it all again half dead. The heavy rasps of snatched breathing and visible slowing suggested others were going through exactly the same experience. Huge support from marshals, spectators and well wishers meant we were able to forget the pain momentarily until we could limp through the quieter parts of the course furthest away from the park.
My dodgy knee held up and I managed to complete the race in 52:27, only a couple of minutes slower than my last Ten10Ten race in 2021. That gave me first of thirteen V70+. How brilliant that thirteen V70+ were out on the course. Perhaps we scooped up a few pensioners out for a quiet amble before lunch.
My thanks to Doug Banks, Andy Green, Matt Rimmer and the whole army of volunteers who gave us the best morning out since the Sheffield Way relay a few weeks ago.
The race was won by Lewis Roberts, Worcester Athletics Club in 36:15mins.
First woman was Sarah-Jane Bamford W40 in 44:20mins.
Sarah-Jane had a baby earlier this year and is only recently back to running again. What a great result by Sarah-Jane.
08th October 2023.