Women’s Running 10K Race Series 2016: Southampton Report
Now in its fourth year, the WR10K Southampton race saw a record number of runners take part in the 2016 event at Southampton Common yesterday, with more than 300 runners crossing the finish line. While sweltering temperatures made course conditions tough, the event village couldn’t have been more pleasant, as runners, families and supporters relaxed in the sunshine and enjoyed the entertainment.
Ahead of the event, runners gathered round the stage to hear from our 60-minute pacer, Gemma Hargrave, and instagram sensation, Louisa Elliot (aka Louisa runs). Runners soon felt at ease after hearing from the two runners, with Gemma assuring the women of her trusty pacing tactics to get them to the finish in sub-60, and Louisa offering her words of advice. After sharing her inspiring story of her running and weight-loss journey, Louisa told her fellow runners to “just enjoy it” without putting to much pressure on themselves. She said:
“Don’t worry about your time. Every time I do a run, people always say, ‘What time did you do?’ and I always say, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ Celebrate that you’ve finished because maybe a month, or two months ago, there’s no way you could have done this, so you should celebrate that you’re here and that you’ve finished more than anything.”
And with that, the runners quickly relaxed into the warm-up, as PT Gemma Paddington took to the stage to get the music blaring and the runners moving! After a series of dynamic stretches and body-weight exercises, it was soon time to take to the start line.
The 5K runners followed a swift one-lap loop around the Common, and the 10K runners, a two-lap route, involving a short climb. Despite the heat, there were some fantastic times posted in both races. First home in the 5K was Viki Middleton in 23mins 25secs, and first home in the 10K was Anna Gordon, in 45mins 48secs.
Anna, 34, a mum of two from Plymouth, had to take a break from running a few years ago after having her two children but, since taking it up competitively again last year, she’s enjoying it more than ever. Talking about her race experience, she said:
“It was fun! It’s a really nice atmosphere. I’ve done one of these Women’s Running races before and it’s always chilled and just about women getting out there and doing it and I really like that.”
Home second was Christina Dawes, from Portsmouth, another mum who, after making a gradual return to running since having her little boy last year, managed to bag herself a post-pregnancy PB.
“I used to run marathons years ago, so I was used to running long distances but, after a C-section, I had to wait about six months before I could run. I could only just about run a mile sixth months ago! I’ve found that, now I’ve had a baby, there isn’t hours and hours to train, so a 10K is a great distance to run! The race was really good, reasonably flat, really nice weather and had a great group of people running.”
Rachael Andreotti, placed third, also commented on the sense of camaraderie among runners and, after running the event and coming third in 2014, was pleased to secure third place again this year.
“All the ladies here are so lovely and so supportive, it was a really good day, really well run.”
For the full list of results, visit: http://bit.ly/1Ybb8c0. You can view the event photos on the Women’s Running Facebook page here.
A big thank you to the WR10K partners this year: HOKA, Solgar, BUFF and Saka Water for supplying prizes, and for helping us to make the event such a success.
Fancy joining us again this year? We still have nine races left this summer! Check them out and sign up here.