Hundreds turn out as sun shines on 'fantastic' first Stevenage 10k
PUBLISHED: 18:18 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 17 September 2019
Hundreds of runners turned out for the inaugural Stevenage 10k yesterday - the first time the town has held an officially measured public event for the distance for more than 20 years.
In total 385 runners completed the 6.2-mile course in glorious sunshine - admittedly better for spectators than participants - as the route showcased much of Stevenage's park areas and the tree-lined avenue behind the historic high street.
More than 60 per cent of those taking part were not attached to a running club, with many completing their first 10K. The course made the most of Stevenage's cycleway network and the public were out in force at the race finish in Hampson Park.
Stevenage mayor Simon Speller started the race - organised by Stevenage Striders running club - and was there to present the trophies afterwards.
He said: "It's such a pleasing sight to see the parks being utilised in this way, for the benefit of runners taking on the first running of this race. A fantastic achievement for all those involved at Stevenage Striders."
All finishers received a race T-shirt, medal and the opportunity to enjoy free cake.
Donations were also being taken at the cake stand, with more than £220 raised for TRACKS Autism, a Stevenage-based specialist early years centre for children with an autistic spectrum condition. In addition, donations of several hundred pounds will be made to both TRACKS and grant-giving charity the Stevenage Community Trust.
In the men's race, first home in a time of 35m44s was Oliver Wallace. Only three seconds behind him was Sean McKenna of Cambridge and Coleridge AC. Completing the trophy places was Tom Hargreaves in 37:08.
In the women's race the winner was Clare Thurgood of Orion Harriers in 41 mins exactly. Second was Cathy Donkin in 44:26 followed by Dea Ditchfield of Bedford Harriers in 45:08.
Many of the runners were raising money for charity in their own right. For example, Laura Pegg of Stevenage Striders raised more £500 for the NSPCC. Laura graduated through the Striders' 'Zero to 5K' training recently and never thought she would run 10K! Another graduate of the training was Suzanne Davidson, who raised money for TRACKS.
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Stevenage Striders intend to make this a regular annual event for the town each September - the date for 2020 is due to be announced on stevenagestridersrc.org.uk in due course.
For the full results from the race see racesonline.uk/results/2019-results/stevenage-10k-2019-results.