Stockport provides the local racing calendar with a number of highlights each year. The Stockport 10, the Hatters Half, the Offerton 10k and our very own Hit the Trail and Mad Hatters to name but a few. The Marple Runners Trail 10k is a relative newcomer on the scene so I wasn’t sure what to expect as I proudly donned my shiny new and improved BVR vest for its first outing of the year. Experts say that these premium quality updated classics with their black panelling and soft, stretchy, lightweight Qwick-Dri™ wicking fabric will shave seconds off our finishing times. Having read the label attached to the vest, I left the house convinced of its special powers.
Anyway, back to the race. It had been described as a multi terrain, mainly off road 10k Trail race. In need of a tune up before the Wilmslow Half Marathon, this would be just what I needed. The race did not disappoint. With climbs and steep descents; twists and turns; there was plenty to challenge the 250 or so runners. In return we were offered a scenic route along the country lanes of Chadkirk and the towpaths of the Peak Forest Canal. Friendly and vocally supportive marshals dotted the route. In fact, the organisation of the race as a whole seemed faultless.
A high point of the race for me was crossing the Marple Aqueduct. Unusually for me, I found I was able to pick up the pace at this late stage of the race. Although, I’m pretty sure that this had more to do with my fear of heights than my sensible pacing strategy. The River Goyt and surrounding woodland 100 feet below provided a stunning backdrop to the closing stages. Nonetheless, I didn’t stop to take it all in and pushed on nervously.
At the end we were rewarded with a medal, a bag full of snacks, a buff and even a copy of the Beano (a nod to the Marple Runners’ Dennis the Menace style colours). I hope to be back at this one again next year. All in all, a great race to have on the doorstep.