'Time and tide wait for no man' is a maxim known to all runners and Patrick Martin, of Stockport Harriers, was certainly conscious of this inescapable truth as he narrowly missed his own course record in the 10th anniversary Clock Change Challenge 10k at Calne on Sunday (29 October).
The clocks had gone back an hour so the 331 runners were on Greenwich Mean Time for the 11:00am start at Calne Leisure Centre in Wiltshire. The half-yearly time adjustment provides the race title for the Clock Change Challenge event that takes place on quiet country lanes in March and October.
Patrick Martin ran his sub-five-minute miles like clockwork to finish in 30:56, only 31 seconds outside his 2014 course record (30:27). The runners-up prizes went to Thomas Davies (Team Bath, 34:47) and Joseph Donworth (Frome, 35:04) as M40 Simon Gilbert (Devizes, 35:06) was close behind for the age-group prize.
There were 30 runners through inside 40-minutes and just outside that threshold were the women's prize winners: Katherine Uphill (Frome, 41:14), Natalie Burke (Devizes, 42:24) and Emma Hines (W40 Chippenham, 42:54). Helen Gibbs (W45 Calne, 44:40) was the leading higher age group athlete.
Michelle Jefferies (Bitton Road Runners, 51:30) marked the midpoint to demonstrate the speedy nature of the course and the clock ticked on to record the final finisher in 1:23:17.
The main race was supported by a 5k race and 1.5k fun run and the winner of the 5k was Jamie Parkinson (Thames Hare and Hounds, 15:11) in a new course record. Catriona Wardsell (21:13) took the women's award and there were 117 finishers in just over an hour.
A further 76 lined up for the 1.5k fun run and the leaders were Chippenham Harriers' under-15 Daryl Archer (5:43) and under-13 Lucy Barnett (7:37).