Adnams Southwold 10K – Sunday 20 November 2016

After 72 hours of nervously checking the BBC Weather website, the morning of Sunday 20 November arrived and thankfully Storm Angus had abated. Heading along the A146 towards Lowestoft the sun even made an appearance! Southwold was buzzing and the marshall teams were receiving their pre-race briefings at the finish line when we arrived in town. Walking down towards the start line at the harbour, it became clear that the wind would still be a factor, as would the considerable amount of standing water!
Harbour Road was particularly affected, with water filled potholes strewn along its length; time to plot a course for the first of 3 passes along the river! At the start line, most of the 700 hardy runners were sheltered in cars, or the pub. When the race started, Conac’s Dominic Oliver hit the front of the field and stayed there to win in an impressive 34:19, to celebrate his 21st birthday in style. The leading lady on the day was Laura Thomas of Ipswich Jaffas (possible east Anglia’s 2nd best team in orange?), in a brilliant time of 39:25.
Us mortals had to battle the conditions and each lap seemed like a constant challenge, be it puddles, wind, hills, or loose pebbles. However, the enthusiastic crowds and beer station helped to drag us round. Having names on the race numbers was a nice touch too, with lots of personalised shouts of encouragement around the course.
It seemed odd only having 2 Jags present after the orange horde at Banningham a couple of weeks earlier and very few representatives of the Norwich/Norfolk clubs were in the field (maybe not surprising with this year’s 27 minute sell-out of places).
The uphill finish was pretty challenging, but the Adnams themed goody bag was impressive, particularly the medal that doubles-up as a bottle opener! I scraped an unofficial PB of 43:44 and Barbara an impressive 59:47.
Neil Button