Percy Pud 10K

Matthew Rose reports:

With a dusting of snow and freezing temperatures leading up to this year's Percy Pud 10K on 3 December 2017 it was difficult to predict what we'd be presented with come race day. Thankfully, the low pressure had shifted and we were presented with near perfect running conditions.

The race limit this year was around 2,700 and like many of the popular road races these days, lives had to be put on hold for the ordeal of securing a place with entry opening and filling up within hours on 1 October.

It was a reasonably short trip over some beautiful countryside to race HQ which was in the village of Loxley, Sheffield. Whilst not as glamourous as last week's Doncaster Racecourse, HQ was more than adequate, in a field off Loxley Road it consisted of large marquees and loads of portaloos - managed under the watchful eye of the race marshalls!

PercyPud finishVests

The Holmfirth contingent
(Damo, Louis, Sophie, Debbie, Maggie, Juan, Matthew)

Damo, Debbie, Juan and I headed over together arriving in good time to allow for a nice warmup along the race route. From just a few hundred when we arrived, on return from our warmup there were literally thousands - we proceeded to the race start along with Louis and Sophie Cromwell who had managed to secure last minute entries. We'd been put in waves based on our predicted times so worked through them towards the front - Damo in yellow for his sub 40 target and the rest of us red or white with more conservative targets.

The race started promptly at 9:30am. Athletes headed along the undulating Loxley Road for 1.2 miles before a left turn at the foot of Damflask Reservoir; we continued along New Road which ran parallel to the reservoir into Low Bradfield to the turning point which was adjacent to The Plough public house (what I'd have done for a pint!). At 5K it was an opportunity to check half way performance - I was running comfortably clocking 22:37. We'd been running into a bit of a headwind so I was optimistic about the second half. There were pacers for this race and the 45 minute pacer passed by. He was moving away from me - I continued running within myself and managed to catch him - once there he was encouraging us to push on and create a gap to beat 45 minutes - I carried on, up, then down, up then down along Loxley Road, lifting the pace to finish in 44:13. From 45:00 in the Abbey Dash, 44:10 on a flat Doncaster 10K last weekend I was pleased.

Damo was the first I saw, declaring he'd acheived his sub 40 target - an astonishing 39:01 (40:14 Doncaster last weekend). We regrouped before heading to collect our race momentos which was a Christmas pudding and comemorative t-shirt - that, alongside a brass band playing Christmas tunes.

There were great performances from the team, Maggie Sykes recorded the fastest time from Holmfirth and with that, 1st F45 in 38:59.  Damo McQueen ran a very consistent race finishing just two seconds slower 39:01 and the ever improving Louis Cromwell earned a PB of 42:06.   Matthew Rose 44:13, Juan Biurrun returning from injury and throwing me the gauntlet for 2018 finished in 45:52, Sophie Cromwell ran well to a new PB of 49:33 and Debbie Beck was pleased with her run of 50:10.

The race winner was local Hallamshire Harriers runner Andrew Heys, setting a new course record by 15 seconds  to finish in 29:22. In the ladies race, Rio 2016 Olympic 5000m finalist Eilish McColgan of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers won, finishing 2nd behind Andrew, breaking her own course record by 10 seconds by finishing in 32:32 (the second best 10K time in this country this year).

Results: http://results.sporthive.com/events/6343045210129834496/races/427305


PercyPud Finishers

A perfect race and great team spirit among the Harriers
Well done all.

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