In 2014 the future of the Wingham 10k wasn’t looking good. For the previous 26 years the race had been hosted by the Wingham Trotters, the local running club, but now no one was stepping forward to take on management of the race.
It was at this point that Sporting Events UK got involved and took over the baton. After putting on a successful race in 2014 how would the Wingham 10k shape up for it’s 27th year?
Signing up to the race through the Runners World website was easy and cost £18 for unaffiliated entry with the usual £2 reduction if affiliated. A week before the race I received an email from Sporting Events UK with all of the information needed on the day – this included the race route and parking information, along with details on how to collect your race number and timing chip (provided on the day).
I usually try to have breakfast around two hours before a race, so with the start scheduled for 10:30 an 8 o’clock plate of scrambled eggs and toast was perfect. This left plenty of time to double check I had everything I needed and travel to the specified race HQ.
As soon as I entered Wingham there were lots of direction signs leading me to the race site, and on arrival plenty of space for parking on the recreation ground. I headed straight to the HQ where I collected my race number and timing chip. A different timing system than I’ve used previously, this was a reusable velcro chip which you attaches to your ankle.
Once the chip was on I attached my race number to my top (thumbs up for the pre-punched holes in the race numbers – perfect for my event clips) and I was off for a warm-up around the recreation ground. This also gave me a chance to scope out the BBQ for post race refuelling!
Toilets were located in the HQ and were just about sufficient. As usual the ladies had quite a queue but isn’t that always the case!?
With just a few minutes left to go we made our way to the start banners. I’m happy to say that we weren’t kept hanging around at the start, and after a brief rundown of the course and the usual health and safety announcements a blast from the airhorn set us on our way!
As usual I’d tried to do some research on the course from previous years and I’d determined that, although undulating the whole way it was generally up hill for the first three miles, and then back down for the remainder. Similar to the Canterbury Half Marathon this was a lollipop course, heading to Goodnestone through the local country lanes, splitting after about a mile and then joining back up with just over a mile to go.
Conditions were ideal on the day, not too hot or humid with no rain in sight, and the first half of the race went to plan – I didn’t head out too fast and I maintained a steady pace.
At around half way I joined up with another runner going along at a very similar pace, but each time I’d pull along side him, he’d see me out of the corner of his eye and give an extra push. In a way this is an ideal situation as you both push each other along a little bit more. Coming into the last quarter of a mile he’d actually pulled away but I was now catching him with every stride. This final section back to the recreation ground was slightly uphill and as he turned into the finishing straight I lost sight of him for a moment. We both gave a final sprint for the line but it was no good – he’d gotten the better of me this time.
I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy entering races. I may not be fast enough for the overall win at the moment, but along with my personal targets and PB’s there are these mini races within the race which are great fun and add to the excitement.
Unfortunately there was no visible timer on display at the finish line so it was a waiting game for the official results to be announced to find out a final time.
While waiting for the prize giving there was plenty going on including free massages, cake and hot drinks, and a BBQ serving a very nice crispy bacon roll!
Medals and Prizes
I feel a special mention is required for the medals and trophies. They are all hand made by Canterbury Pottery, and following on the tradition of previous years feature the flying pig logo of the Wingham Trotters. With some races churning out very similar generic medals this is one that definitely stands out!