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The 10,000 metre race, which actually measured out as 11km in retrospect, certainly proved a test for the Lancaster runners but they rose up to the challenge with determination and athleticism.
The flat course consisted of “fields after fields” as Will Hine described it, and was still being marked up and set out as the runners arrived. This disorganisation at the start of the race resulted in a 20 minute delay at the start line.
Nonetheless, once everything was sorted and marshals were in position – the race was soon underway with York’s male runners, in particular, setting a very strong pace.
After the first segment of the race, the men of Lancaster were lying just outside the point’s positions as it was the top four of each gender group to score. Tom Nicholson was in 5th position with Craig Farrow and David Schmitz slightly further down the field.
Nevertheless, Nicola Aylett was displaying a gutsy performance and was in a prime 2nd position for the women. Lea Taylor was also just sitting out of the points in 5th.
The first man to cross the finish line was from York, who managed the race in an impressive 39.42 minutes and was soon followed by his team mate. It was at this point where the race got very interesting down the home-straight.
Lancaster runner, Tom Nicholson, and a York runner were approximately level and continued to be so as the sprint finish unfolded. Both runners gave it their absolute all but it was Lancaster who had the inner strength to cross the line first in 41.54 minutes.
The first female to cross the finish line was, again, another runner from York, who managed a very quick 50.09 minutes, but only a minute later the colours of the red and black vest tops could be seen as Nicola Taylor made her way to the finish line to complete the race in 51.01 minutes, gaining second position. Notable mentions should also go out to Craig Farrow and Lea Taylor, who were not far off the point’s positions, with times of 43.53 minutes and 57.20 minutes.
Despite the seeming lack of organisation to begin with, the race went well and all of the Lancaster runners had a solid team presence in the race. None of them gave up even with the windy conditions and those who were at the back, continued to try their hardest until the very end of the race, as they picked up invaluable experience for future races, including for some, next year’s Roses.