Runners get ready for Standalone 10k

THE family of a man who launched a race which has become part of the running calendar have been reminiscing ahead of its 25th anniversary.

North Herts Road Runners (NHRR) founding member Phil Gilby organised the first Standalone 10k in October 1988 when more than 300 runners crossed the finish line at Standalone Farm in Letchworth GC.

Next Sunday, October 7, around 1,400 people will take the start line with Mr Gilby’s son-in-law Matthew Pocock among them.

The 42-year-old will be tackling the 10k course in honour of Mr Gilby, who died of a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 47.

Mr Pocock’s wife Claire has fond memories of what she describes as her “dad’s race”.

She said: “I was young when it started but I always helped my dad put the race numbers in the envelopes as we couldn’t do it on computers at that time.

“I check when it is on every year and look at the pictures and the results. It means everything to me and I’m so proud that it’s still going.

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“It is truly amazing that this is the 25th anniversary of Standalone, we could never have imagined how successful the race would become, and I am so pleased that NHRR has kept what I see as ‘my dad’s race’ going from strength to strength.”

Her brother Simon added: “I look back at the years when my dad assumed the role of race director with pride.

“I think it was that sense of pride that led me, my mum and sister to spread dad’s ashes near the original finish line of the event and mark the importance of dad’s achievements by planting a tree at the farm that hundreds of people will run past as they finish their race every year.”

Entry for this year’s race – which also incorporates the Hertfordshire Vets Championship – is now full but for more information visit www.nhrr.org.uk

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