Friday, 27 October 2017

Race Roundup: Big Stockport 10k Run

Today we're recapping our second Stockport based run of September and a very well turned out event, have you ever run The big Stockport 10k race? it proved a particularly good one for us! 

the big stockport 10k run

Ahead of the Day
We signed up for the event via the website within plenty of time and received our pre-race packs way ahead of the day. They contained our numbers and chip with detailed instructions about the organisation of the day - start time, location, parking etc.

stockport new bridge lane run

On The Day Organisation
When we arrived at the start it did seem a little chaotic with so many people and no obvious direction of where to go. We did soon find the start line though where there were also a few stands around offering various other activities and services (from archery for kids to a sports massage). The route had marshals dotted along it and covered any areas where there might have been confusion on the route as well as having water stations for the runners. The route did pass along a few major roads in the town, some of which had been closed specifically for the events although one (extremely) major road had to be left open but was well marshaled.

At the start and finish line the atmosphere was great, held in a fair sized square with the roads closed, there was plenty of room for spectators and runners to move around as well as having stalls set up to keep the kids (little and large) entertained if you wanted to wait at the start/finish. Along the route people had come out to support the runners although with it being a Sunday morning and with some roads closed support was patchy along route. Plenty of people had turned out to offer (much needed) support to runners up the final hill!

the big stockport 10k run route

The Course
Stockport definitely offers a lot for runners! The course mostly followed roads and pavements but there was a bit of trail thrown in too and you can't run far in Stockport before meeting a hill!

stockport 10k runner

The course begins and ends at Petersgate above Stockport's Historic Plaza Theatre. The route begins downhill and along a closed road until you reach Vernon Park. There's a nice loop through the park before heading up your first hill and over a road bridge, from here you head back through the centre of town. There's a little confusion as you come close to the bus station with the road not closed and marshals trying to guide everyone, from here you keep heading out towards "The Pyramid" (Co-Operative bank and local landmark). This area of the run is a little more trail and follows a riverside path before you loop back (across the very busy roundabout which is well marshaled) and head up the final hill towards the finish line.

We both enjoyed the route, a great mixture of terrain and some some moderate hillwork and both posted excellent times, James with 37:44 and Rachel 49:39 That's two new 10k PB's!

stockport 10k final hill

The Goodie Bag
Upon completing the race runners are directed towards a gazebo where they can pick up a t-shirt and are handed a medal. This is the first event we've attended where t-shirts are gender specific and an XS is also available! However the women's sizes run very small, Rachel, usually a UK size 8 opted for the small t-shirt and whilst it does fit it's still a little on the small side. James was perhaps more unlucky though, his small men's t-shirt was actually for an entirely different event! Oops!
As well as the t-shirts and medals runners were given a bag containing some protein biscuits and leaflets about sponsor Life Leisure's gyms. There were also a few people handing out energy drinks which were free to take.

the big Stockport 10k run 2017 t-shirt

Key Stats
Entry Fee: £18 (unaffiliated)
Atmosphere 4/5
Race Organisation 4/5
Course Difficulty 3/5
Goodie Bag 4/5
Overall Score 4/5

Key Stats explained
Atmosphere rating (1-poor, 5-excellent) based on other runners, the crowd and general feeling of the event.
Race Organisation (1-poor, 5-excellent) based upon key information being communicated ahead of time, race information including number arriving in plenty of time, speed of response from organisers on requesting information, facilities available along the route and ease of starting the race. 
Course Difficulty (1-very easy, 5-extremely difficult) based on gradient of the route, running surface eg. Road or trail, obstacles along the route and ability to stay on the correct route through markers or marshals.
Goodie Bag (1-none available, 5-best goodie bag ever!) based on prizes given out post event such as medals and t-shirts.
Overall Score (1-Would not recommend, 5-would recommend to everyone) based on all factors above to give an overview of how good the event was. 

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