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Race Report: Dewsbury 10K Road Race, Yorkshire, UK, 3rd February 2013

Race report from Race-Calendar’s very own Steve Haywood – a qualified personal trainer in West Yorkshire with over 50 years competitive running experience:

This popular and well established mid winter 10k has been on my list of races to do for some years so this year I finally got round to entering early as there are no entries on the day. On a bitterly cold morning with a strong wind blowing we all made our way across Dewsbury town centre to the start on the town’s inner ring road. The race is an out and back course along the A652 through Batley and it was evident to me that the wind would be in our faces on the outward 5k.

The course records are excellent, the men’s is held by Spencer Newport way back in 1998 with a very quick 29 mins 08 secs and the women’s is held by Penny Thackray with a scintillating 33mins 06secs. I wasn’t looking to chase those times having just moved into the vet 60 category, a more modest 9 minute mile-ing was my goal.

I guessed the field was under 1000 so it meant that at the gun we were all off fairly quickly, even near the back, which is a good start on a cold day. My guess was right and we were into the prevailing wind on the outward stretch so I adopted my age old strategy of finding a runner or two going at my pace and tucking in behind them. This tactic has to be adopted carefully or you can slow down a bit too much but the Garmin kept me on schedule. At 3-5k there is a noticeable gradual incline and with the wind in our faces it was hard work. It was sensible to leave enough in the tank for the return 5k which was downhill to 7k plus the wind was on our back. One of the features of out and back courses, at my level, is that you can watch the field hurtling back at 5 minute mileing and there looked to be a good race going on for the leading places.

5-7k was quick for most of the runners and then the last 2k was flat but somehow the wind had turned to be in our faces again. I was a tired but happy runner in 644th place with a chip time of 54 mins 45 secs, so my objective was achieved. The men’s winner was Dan Garbutt of Durham City Harriers with a time of 30 mins 27 secs and the women’s was won by Alyson Dixon of Sunderland Striders with 34 mins 05 secs, so a good day for the north east.

The race is closed to traffic and well marshalled and with good pace judgement it is a possible personal best course if conditions are not too wintry. I would recommend this race and course, however, the marshalls are withdrawn after a certain cut off point and anyone still on the road has to revert to the pavement to finish.

This is not in the Fun Run category and with the majority of the field being club runners it had a good old competitive feel to it, but with plenty of the usual runners’ banter, which is very enjoyable. I will hopefully be back next year.

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