Almost as if the weather had been pre-booked, the running conditions were perfect on Sunday for hosting the 24th Lichfield 10K and Family Fun Run. Another pre-race sell out, over 1200 runners took to the Lichfield and Whittington streets, each with their own personal targets to fulfil and many running with some inspirational stories and for very worthy causes.
For Pool House in their first year of sponsorship, the build-up and the day itself had been a fantastic experience, creating a lot of buzz amongst the staff. With over twenty of the team involved, either running or marshalling, the company put in a lot of effort to ensure the success of the event. “We have loved being part of this” commented Operations Director, Fiona Haigh. “It is a wonderful community race which has brought together our clients, staff and families. It is great to see everyone enjoying it today”.
The 10K race was started by a special member of Lichfield Running Club, retiring Chairman, Alan Pritchard, who is about to relocate to Swansea with his wife, Adella. Alan first joined Lichfield Running Club in October 2006 and since then has committed himself fully to the membership, supporting as first Secretary and then Chairman, enabling the club to offer the varied opportunities and training sessions that it does today. A seasoned marathon and Ultra runner himself, Alan’s expertise, devotion and company will be sorely missed by all. “It felt fitting that he started the race for us this year,” said the 10K committee team.
The 10K Winner and first male, Simon Birch from Hinckley Running Club, finished the race in 32:29 mins, the fastest time in seven years. Simon commented that he loved the course. “I did the race a few years ago but have been doing some proper training since then, so I am delighted”. Jonathan Carter from Tipton Harriers came 2nd for the second year running, at 33:19, followed by Dominic Priest who came in 3rd in a time of 33:57. The course record of 30:16 mins remains intact.
The first lady, Juliet Potter, of Charnwood AC, finished the course with a clear lead of over three minutes, crossing the finish line in 37:16. It was her first Lichfield 10K as she wanted to try a new local race. “The course was tough in places as it can be quite hilly, however the marshals were great and I enjoyed the run, ” she said. Oliva Harris and Vicky Baddick came home in 2nd and 3rd place.
Aldridge Running Club were thrilled to be called out as the winning male team overall and Chase Harriers took this title for the ladies. Both teams demonstrated some excellent running times on the day against tough competition from a number of strong clubs.
The 2019 Fun Run had a variety of entrants and it was great to see so many family teams, including Hatty the elephant, running for the line together. Tamworth AC were the club of the day, with their member, James Mensham as overall winner and his fellow club member Lottie McClaren as first lady. It was James’ first time in the Fun Run and Lottie commented that she had been doing a lot of running recently. Fabulous effort by all and lots of promising athletes for the future!
There were also some truly inspirational run stories out on the course. Local and now national business, Busy Bees Nurseries, were running to raise money on behalf of their charity partner, Child Bereavement UK. The team had been training together. “I am so proud of everyone,” said CEO Cheryl Creases. “We love to do these events in order to raise awareness and a lot of money to help others in the future and make a difference.”
Finally, Maggie Smith, who was the last entrant to finish the 10K this year, was welcomed by a field of applause. “I have lost fourteen stone in four years” said Maggie proudly. “Once I struggled to walk to the shop and now I have just completed this race. Everyone has been brilliant today. I feel amazing”.
The Lichfield Running Club is grateful for the support from all of their helpers and sponsors, including; Water Logic for providing water for runners, Go Ape Cannock for handing out bananas, Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust, Running Form and Lichfield Lions for their support on the day. Ebrook Osteopathy were also on the field all day, providing free massage for entrants and their tired muscles.
For anyone inspired to try running, the Lichfield Running Club is open to members of all abilities. Please check the club website, www.lichfield-running-club.co.uk which contains more information about joining and weekly training sessions. New members are always warmly welcomed so please come along. 2020 will mark the Silver anniversary of the 10K so the time to start training is now!