The 12th Available Car Wilne 10k road race was held on 3rd September 2023 and 8 members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to East Derbyshire to take part.
The scenic, closed road course is known for being one of the flattest 10k races in the country, with reputedly only 5.6m between the highest and lowest points.
The one and three-quarter lap route passes through the village of Draycott before heading towards the river Derwent along winding country lanes, passing St Chad’s Church before some long, straight sections along Wilne Lane. A short, sharp incline takes runners back onto Sawley Road and, on the second lap, the welcome sight of the finish.
With bright sunshine and the temperature forecast to be 18°C for the 10am start, the tree lined sections of the course provided some temporary relief from the heat.
Piers Pye-Watson and Samuel Jepson led the GRC contingent away from the start-line and put in two fantastic performances to finish in 58th and 76th places respectively.
After crossing the line in a time of 36:22, Piers praised the event as being very well organised attracting a high-quality field of runners.
Sam Jepson finished a little disappointed with his time of 37:09 after a tough final 4k due to the heat and fading after 8k.
Next to cross the finish line for GRC was the constantly improving Carlene Veasey with a new personal best time of 45:01, frustratingly close to her goal of going sub 45min. Carlene commented later that she really enjoyed the course but not so much the heat!
Kevin Wallace was next to finish, also achieving a new PB by well over a minute, in a time of 45:48. Making this feat even more impressive was that Kevin was nursing a hamstring niggle and stated before the start he’d be happy with anything under 50 minutes!
Completing the GRC octet were Paul Davis (47:04), Andrew MacAllister (49:26), Caroline Davis (50:08) and Sarah High (53:46).
The race was won by Joe Wilkinson in a course record equalling time of 29:51. The first lady to finish was Rebecca Taylor in a time of 36:05 and there were 918 finishers.
All the GRC participants agreed that though it was a tough race in the warm conditions the enjoyable course and excellent organisation made the trip worthwhile with many planning a return in 2024.
Photo, Piers Pye-Watson