- What: 10 mile road race
- Where: Maidenhead
- SJ attendance: 19
Ok – So I am still pretty new to this “blogging my running life” malarkey and with the best of intentions I completely forgot to take any photographs of the Maidenhead 10. So I apologise for that, but to make up for it I have just put in photographs of things I quite like. You can also use your imaginations and my amazing way with words to paint a picture in your minds of how it looked (lots of sweaty runners and a 10 mile race course)…works like a charm right? Anyway – I digress…
Despite the threat of heavy rain we arrived to beautiful grey dullness. Ok so maybe it wasn’t so beautiful, but at least it wasn’t raining as every optimistic SJ said on arrival (“Hello all – at least it’s not raining!”). It’s this kind of comment that helps us all ignore the fact that we are up on a bank holiday and getting ready to run a 09:30am race. This is also a good opportunity for people to start introducing their chosen alignment (excuse) for that day. However in Leon’s case running three miles (I think?) before even starting was a pretty good excuse in the excuse league table (potential future blog post?).
There were rather long queues for the men’s toilets. Much to the delight of the women, as it made a change to the usual social gathering that is the women’s toilet queue, which is always a good chance to catch up with runners from other clubs that you haven’t
beaten seen since cross country.
The race started on time. No timing pens but it didn’t feel cramped and I had no problems weaving and finding my own space within the first 200 metres. This was the first time I had run the Maidenhead 10. The first three miles – possibly more I got a bit bored – are all within the industrial estate. This is great for the spectators who get to see you a few times and there’s also a nice switch back which allows you to shout abuse at other club members in front and behind you as you see them on the opposite side of the road. Everyone that I saw at this point looked chipper and pretty happy and there was a lot of enthusiastic support. This was nothing though compared to the amazing support from The Gubbs, Rivers and Lambourns, who stood strong by the rather damp roadside and showed the other spectators exactly how it’s done in SJ. Great effort guys and we were all extremely grateful!
The race then weaves out on the roads and along a byway around Maidenhead, although it never enters the town. I must say that I am not sure any other race can rival this one for number of marshals per mile. There were so many! However they were all enthusiastic and cheering the runners along – doing a sterling job and the race couldn’t take place without them. The marshals can often make or break a race and the Maidenhead 10 should be extremely proud of themselves for definitely ‘making it’.
There’s a rather sneaky hill around mile 8 that goes over a bridge, but aside from that this is a predominantly flat race and I would have thought it ideal for anyone starting to enter long distance events or training for their first half marathon.
Everyone came in looking happy and rather damp from the ‘air rain’ and was rewarded with a bag full of leaflets and a chocolate bar. The medals were shaped like Easter eggs – which, as medal designer for Yateley 10k (plug alert!), I thought was a great touch.
I’ve done a bit of Power of 10 stalking and according to their results there were some great PBs from the following people:
- Collette Callanan
- Graham Kelly
- Jo Obertell
- Stuart Overhill
- Christine Rivers
- Sarah Jones
- And me!!! Haha I can just use this opportunity to self promote.
A huge well done to everyone who ran and flew the SJ flag, especially if this was your first 10 mile event. Great effort team!
Lastly the important bit of the review – the pub! We met at The Shires, which is a chef and brewer pub on the A4 and close to the industrial estate. The pub was friendly and more importantly we all fitted in. I didn’t join everyone for food, although the reviews seemed divided on portion sizes, depending on how early you had ordered! They didn’t mind us being more than a little noisy and appeared to be happy to cater to for the children – who definitely had more energy than the runners! They only had baby changing facilities in the ladies toilets – which meant Andy got out of changing Max, and I was surprised to learn that this is often the case (not Andy – the lack of changing facilities). Come on pubs/restaurants/cafes – daddy’s can change nappies as well you know!
Race marks out of ten: 8.5/10 (Only because I am not keen on the industrial section)
Pub marks out of ten: 5.5/10 (Poor chip portions and no baby changing facilities)
Let me know what you thought of the race in the comment section (should be below)! I’m also on the lookout for anyone running the Brighton or London Marathon that might want to write me a race report for the blog…so you might want to avoid me at club runs for a week or so.
Nikki “I will remember my camera next time” Stanley