By Richard Slack
After running my last 10k in a sauna or what felt like it at the Tynedale 10k earlier in July temperatures and humidity were back to better conditions for running last night. In some last minute attempt at preparation for the coastal run that looms large this weekend I entered the Kirkley Hall 10k. and what a good decision it was rewarded with a very pleasant and relatively quiet run with some quirkiness thrown in.
There was good parking at Kirkley Hall where registration was and all the runners gathered here by around 7pm for a 7.30pm start. About 10 minutes prior to the race we were all then escorted down a lane and across a meadow to the starting point. It felt like a bad dream of an old school trip – fortunately without having to then draw a sketch which always spoiled a good days skive off school. At the start we were aware that on the opposite side of the road was a road bike time challenge in teams of three that would come hurtling down the road at two to three minute intervals. Hence the organisers were very keen the runners must stick to the left side of the road, which we all dutifully did. The first 4k was pretty steady although gentle uphill with plenty of easier flat sections. After 4k we turned left onto very quiet roads with a nice long downhill to the drinks station at 5k although given the pleasant conditions most people just ran straight past. Thereafter the course followed the road to the pretty village of Ogle before a short uphill with 2k to the finish. Benefitting from some good Monday night runs I pushed on for the final 2k in a time of just over 9 minutes giving well inside negative splits for the race as a whole. My finish time was 47:37 for 10.13 km.
It is not a busy run with less than 200 taking part so there is plenty of room to run at your own pace whilst at the same time feeling part of a race through very pleasant undulating countryside. An enjoyable evening and one that I will do again. I am also pleased to report for the good image of Claremont that both shoes remained in prime condition throughout the duration of the event!