The Great Warford 10 greeted runners by sweeping the clouds aside and letting the sun shine all day, which made life more pleasant for spectators than runners.
The Great Warford 10 is a pleasant lapped course that undulates around the leafy Cheshire Lanes. Despite the fact that it’s flatter than Stockport 10 (have you entered yet? It sells out fast!), finishing times are always a bit slower at Great Warford but it remains a fantastic race. All proceeds go towards its venue – The David Lewis Centre, home to a registered charity that specialises in caring for people with complex epilepsy, autism, learning and physical disabilities.
Pre-race banter took place online and before the race – Andy Wood told Phil D’Netto he would leave him standing, Steve ‘Hipster’ Webb turned up to do his usual moaning about injury and harped on incessantly about The Congleton Half Marathon (which is on 5th October, only £13, goody bag, best tech t-shirt there is, all proceeds to charity). After the usual pre-race camaraderie and warm ups, it was time to get going. BVR assembled at the start.
Simon had a strong start as first BVR past the 4 mile mark, followed by Jason, who was closely followed by Phil ‘Renaisance Man’ d’Netto and Steve Mycio. Comrade Marathon finisher Andy Wood was not too far behind, although he had said in his pre-race interview that he was struggling in training this week. Anne Webster and Lisa Donnelly both led the women past the five mile mark, both running on good form. Gill Oakes (who cycled all 15 miles to get to the race!) and Ruth Amin were soon to follow.
During the race, a number of runners bemoaned the additional challenge brought on by the heat – Jason admitted, “I’m really struggling in the heat” at mile 6, but never gave up. Phil ‘Miami’ D’Netto, took advantage of his experience of running expensive endurance events in exotic tropical temperatures and turned down the offer of water from a spectating cyclist, instead demanding, “Garmin… my Garmin has died, I need a Gggaa—armiiin”. Steve Webb exploited this situation by holding his spare Garmin out like a carrot in front of a donkey. He then cycled past d’Netto, saying, “Nice to overtake you again, how does it feel?”.
The race finished on the manicured lawn of The David Lewis Centre where, it has to be said, the finish funnel was very well organised (by someone who is organising this year’s Congleton Half Marathon – enter now!). First to the funnel was Steve Webb, who arrived before all BVRs but broke a few essential rules (including not entering, not wearing a race number and not running). Next was Simon Stead, who ran a very solid race and came home strong – 1.07.06. His victory speech, “I hope Jason gets his PB, I’d love it if he won the championship” – typical BVR team spirit from Simon. Simon also PBd by some 15 seconds. Phil d’Netto was next (1.15.21), he was so pleased with his PB, that he took more mementos than any other finisher. Soon after, Simon’s wish was granted as Jason Stott came home strong despite the struggling in the heat – with a brand new PB of 1.15.40 – at time of going to press we don’t know what this does to Jason’s championship chances but I’m sure he will be in the mix before the 12 minute test. Steve Mycio continues to go from strength to strength, crossing the line in an impressive 1.17.10. ComradeAndy Wood battled to the end and came home in 1.25.04, no matter what Andy’s training week has been like, he will always give 100% for the club.
First Belle Vue woman was Anne Webster who deserved her championship points after battling hard in the heat to finish in 1.31.10. Lisa Donnelly, who, before the race, was a bit worried about running in the heat finished fairly soon afterwards in 1.33.22, a very brave performance. Gill Oakes came home in 1.40.23, when you consider her journey to the race, that’s a really impressive result. Ruth Amin continues to improve and was the next woman home in 1.51.36 – it will be interesting to watch her climb the league table in next Summer’s championship. The men’s and ladies’ teams finished 10th and 16th respectively.
All in all, a great race was had by all – finishers were rewarded with flapjacks and, most appropriately, a bottle of Joggers Tipple real ale, featuring a commemorative Great Warford 10 label. Feel like you’ve missed out? Not to worry, The Congleton Half is on 5th October, online entries are open … apparently 😉 SW