RR10 returns after 707 days

The Tokyo Olympics were not the only great sporting event to be delayed from 2020. It was exactly 707 days since Wessex Road Runners last competed at the final RR10 of 2019, IBM Hursley. I’m sure none of us could have anticipated the events of the months in-between the two races.

It was a very warm night as we arrived at Fleming Park, still around 28 Centigrade just before the start. Despite being the first race of the year numbers did seem to be down a little, perhaps put off by the temperature, dreaded Covid, the start of school holidays or perhaps all three. There seemed to be more marshals than runners when we first arrived.

Six runners started for Wessex – myself, Phil, Doug, David H (who had already ran earlier that day), David S (more rowing than running in the past few months) and a first outing for Andrew Cable (presented with his Wessex vest). Support was provided by Richard and Peter. It was great to see everyone and because we arrived early, a good chance to have a quick chat and a catch up. It was a good atmosphere at the race, clearly everyone was glad to be back and organisation was good.

The course itself was dry but twisty, with a few tree roots and a little cramped at points. I suspect the high temperatures slowed the overall times. I saw a few runners struggling on the course, with one collapsing into the arms of a marshal. All the Wessex runners got safely home (Phil, Nigel, David S, David H, Andy and Doug) with Phil leading the way and placing well. There was some chaos with the tickets with the first place runner being given Number 135 – this caused a lot of grumpy emails after the race.

Picture credit hammy8241