Runners flock to annual 10k event
Almost 400 runners pounded the streets of Saffron Walden on Sunday for the 11th annual Saffron Walden 10k. Saffron Striders chairman Nigel Coates, said: Good weather, combined with a lot of hard work from the club members and generous support from our sp
Almost 400 runners pounded the streets of Saffron Walden on Sunday for the 11th annual Saffron Walden 10k.
Saffron Striders chairman Nigel Coates, said: "Good weather, combined with a lot of hard work from the club members and generous support from our sponsors, resulted in an excellent event enjoyed by many runners, both local and from further afield."
Three local runners battled out for the top places, with Halstead Road Runners' Mark Armitage finishing ahead of Nene Valley Harriers' Peter Thompson and Cambridge & Coleridge's Giacomo Capetti.
In the ladies race, the winner was in a class of her own. Emma Patel, representing Winchester & District AC, broke the course record for a female with a time of 37min 51sec, over one minute faster than her winning time in 2004 and more than three and a half minutes faster than her nearest rival.
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The team event was won for the second successive year by The Debden Dashers. A group of family and friends including David, Teresa and Jack Peasgood, Gary Hasleton, Andy Lamb, Matt Hinton, Peter Thompson and Imogen Peace.
At the presentation ceremony, the Mayor Sarfraz Anjum and Henry Rowe from Kevin Henry Estate Agents gave out numerous trophies, with two notable awards deserving of attention.
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David Peck won the 70 and over age group in a fantastic time of 52min 01sec and Peter Thompson took home the award for the best overall performance, based on the WVA rating. The WVA is an internationally recognised ranking system which takes into account age and gender to show the best overall performance.
Although more than 50 Saffron Striders, their friends and families worked tirelessly to ensure the race was a success, several of the club members were still able to participate in the race themselves.
Rafal Kasprzyk and Matt Hinton secured top 50 places, with James Neuhaus and Henry Rowe finishing in the top 100.
Two of the best performances by any of the Saffron Striders came from Stephanie Chaplin and Linda Nicholas who ran together to finish their first ever 10K race in the impressive time of 66min 4sec.
The upbeat spirit of the day was encapsulated by two of the later runners. Both Lindsay Sambridge and Nicola Whitehead were continually smiling as they negotiated the 10k course and they finished with a fantastic look of satisfaction on their faces. One of the marshals commented that "It made all the hours we've spent putting on the race worthwhile."
Waitrose had kindly donated 500 bananas and bottles of water for all of the finishers, who also took home a special Saffron Walden 10K T-shirt.
"We have already received a lot of positive feedback and will be looking towards making next year's event even better," said Nigel Coates.
"Hosting an event like the Saffron Walden 10K costs a huge amount of money and it would not have been possible without the exceptionally generous support of Kevin Henry Estate Agents, Chesterford Research Park, Holdroyd Components, Johnson Matthey, UK Tapes, Runnerway, Printpack and Waitrose.