Top of the Wolds 10k Challenge

This is a race report with a difference……. I wasn’t running it.

Top of the Wolds 10k is the race my club hosts, this year was just its second year. I have marshalled at a few other races but being more involved shows you just what is needed to put on a race like this.

The Top of the Wolds 10k Challenge is a scenic, rural race around Nunburnholme Wold in East Yorkshire. Starting from the attractive Village of Warter, the race route heads out along scenic rural lanes, before a climb to the “Wolds Top” and finally descending through the Woodland section.”

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Waiting for the runners to arrive

We are still a pretty small club, so no club members run the race – as many of us as possible are there to help in various different rolls – from parking and road closures, to water stations and marshalling. I was doing the same as last year on registration to start (slightly complicated by the recent GDPR regulations coming in to force!), and then on the finish line checking numbers and organising spot prizes. It is an early start on the day – we were there before 7am and there were others that had been there much earlier. I know that it appears that marshals can just turn up ten minutes before race starts to get to their positions, but there is so much more to it then that – they need to get their instructions and details from the coordinator on the day, they need to know what their responsibilities are and who to contact in an emergency, they need to make sure that their stretch of the course is clear (no motorists trying to get through the road closed signs!) and stays clear whilst the race goes on. Don’t be put off ever volunteering by this – it is really rewarding and great to see a race from another perspective, but it is a commitment and you need to turn up early enough to make sure you’ve got time to get sorted. I love that our race has such great support – not just club members but friends and family all turning up to help out.

I like doing registration, seeing the different runners coming in: some experienced and seemingly very relaxed, some who were very new to running and quite nervous. It’s a pretty small race (300 places this year) and we’d like to think very friendly and supportive to all (the feedback is certainly very good!).

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The start of the race!

There were lots of great moments watching everyone come over the finish line – the lady that had knocked 13 minutes off last years time (yes you read that right, MINUTES!); those that have had a tough time over the last year but still managed to complete the race; the amazing winners of the race and of age categories; the lady I spoke to at registration who had never run 10k before, who crossed the line and sobbed. I didn’t know you, but the pride I felt for you that you’d achieved what you set out to achieve – there were a few people watching who were struggling to keep dry eyes!

Last runners in, drinks and flapjacks for all and it was time for race presentations – quite a few category prizes as well as the main ones and then it was time to clear up! It doesn’t take long with lots of people helping out and with the lure of Sunday lunch at the pub we worked twice as quick.

My first visit to The Wolds Inn at Huggate in a few years and it didn’t disappoint, a lovely sunday lunch enjoyed by nearly forty club members / friends / family. I certainly feel lucky to have finally found a group where I feel that I can be myself and be accepted as I am.

Here’s to another sell out of the Top of the Wolds 10k Challenge in 2019 !

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