runABC South had their news writer Alan Newman embedded in the capacity field of 600 entries for the 20th Totnes 10K on Sunday (4 August) to bring us his story direct from the front line...
Well, I started on the front line, as I always do, but didn't stay there long! My policy is always to run not a metre more than the anticipated distance, especially when that proves to be 10.3K, as recorded by many of the 536 finishers (in 1:59:39) with wearable technology in this challenging West Devon classic.
Not that anyone complains about the extra distance – that is just 300m more bang for your modest £10/12 entry fee that includes free photos, bespoke medal, professional PA with music, BBQ and bar. My event preview
predicting a 30% chance of rain was 100% correct – it began to rain just before the start!
My pre-race routine of jog, toilet, stretching, toilet, strides, toilet was punctuated by indecision over footwear but I gambled on road slicks rather than wet weather trail shoes and it paid off as the wooded section had stayed dry as a bone and the Teignbridge Trotters'
trimmer squad (pictured) had done a great job on course clearance.
is held on an anti-clockwise, heart-shaped course (check Strava for confirmation) and what's not to love about this multi-terrain, hilly route – apart from the terrain and hills if you are a softy road runner like me! Expect Totnes to add 10% to your average 10K time for a flat, smooth tarmac race.
Not that any of the above bothered race winners Pete Monaghan (M50 Torbay AC, 38:08) and Ami Yetton (W35 Plymouth Harriers, 44:14). Both were 150m clear of their respective podium companions Lee Turner (M40 Torbay Tri, 38:42) and Graham Bale (M50 Plymstock RR, 38:57) plus Ellie Dominey (W35 Axe Valley Runners, 44:56) and Amy Jones (W35 South West RR, 45:15).
Devon runners age athletically it seems, as 11 of the top 12 men were 'veterans' and the women's leaders were all W35 age groupers. Slim pickings, then, for your correspondent as John Shapland (Bideford AC, 45:09) was almost three minutes ahead in my M65 category!
A generous prize list includes course and age group record awards and two new bests were set by W60 Sue Curry (unattached, 53:07) and W65 Sue James (Tonbridge AC, 57:02).
Grateful thanks to Exmouth Harriers'
Des (M65, 48:34) and Alison White (W60, 56:39) for hosting Sue James and myself for the weekend, during which we lost an age-graded Exmouth parkrun partners challenge by 0.005%, equivalent to half a second between pairs, not that we are at all competitive with our Devonshire hosts!