Maidenhead Easter 10 Mile

Taking place on Good Friday, the 2024 Maidenhead ten mile race was preceded by warnings from the event director about the impact of the dire weather on the bridleways and pavements which make up about half of this flat course. Based at a business park, the venue offers large amounts of car parking close to the race village along with an opportunity to really get to know the businesses as the course runs round the perimeter road at the start, partway through after an out and back section on the access road and with a final half lap at the finish. This road was in good condition, though the speed bumps probably aren’t counted in the declared total ascent of 70 metres for the race.

When the runners finally left the business park, there is a country section on bridleways, quiet country roads and pavements. All of these were reasonably hard standing, and the members of Maidenhead Athletic Club had worked hard the previous day to drain and sweep the route, so the advance warnings were fortunately Cassandra-like on the day.

The weather for the race was much better than expected, with the very heavy overnight rain having passed over, though there was a noticeable headwind when turning left off the business park access road and onto the first bridleway and the 10°C temperature was offset by the high humidity. Perhaps the most interesting part of this section of the course was looking at the marshals, wondering whether any of them were former Prime Ministers.

The race clearly attracts a high standard of club runner, with 859 finishers. In both the men’s and women’s races, the first finisher was a veteran, with Nicholas Torry of Kent AC being the first finisher in 50:56 and Kate Rennie finishing in 60:53, belying her V50 status. There was one competitor from Grantham Running Club – Peter Bonner finished in 66:25. This was a personal best by over a minute from his 2019 Derby race, which pleased him as he’s in the middle of a hard training set for the London Marathon in three weeks.

Speaking afterwards, Peter said he was pleased by the result and that despite the conditions being better than feared, he was glad not to have used the expensive vaporfly shoes. It’s a race that he recommends for anyone in the area, but because he was driving on to Grantham he found the return drive a little more challenging than hoped.

The race is organised by Maidenhead Athletic Club and the proceeds are used to support three other charities, Thames Hospice, Alzheimer’s Dementia Support and The Link Foundation, as well as supporting the activities of the Club, especially coaching and activities for their junior squad.

Photos c/o Paul Sharp

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