Race Report by Brian Rose
In a day that is depicted by my fellow countryfolk as ‘dreech’ the latest edition of the Richmond Castle 10K was held. The race starts and finishes at the picturesque setting of Batts Riverside Park. This is nestled between the impressive Richmond Castle and the striking River Swale waterfalls. Around 500 runners eagerly waited for the starting gun in what appeared to be (as once described by the author Bill Bryson) as a ‘festival of rain’.
Starting across the grass on the park, and after a minor halt due to a pinch point onto the path, then it was on to the first climb of the race, Sleegill. To be honest the early killing of any impetus was probably for the best as I’ve been known to go off at full gas before and it doesn’t usually end well. My current Facebook profile pic is testament to that.
Sleegill is a proper tester and fortunately, it comes early so it gets those chilly limbs warmed up. Once over the top there is apparently a stunning view of the castle. I’ll need to take Swaledale Runners’ website’s word for it, as I was too busy catching my breath.
An undulating route down towards Catterick Garrison is well marshalled, as the roads aren’t closed. They kept the runners in check by making sure we all stayed left and happily most motorists gave the runners a wide berth. As far as I’m aware a trespassing wing mirror clipped no one. Then comes a final short sharp climb up Holly Hill then a right turn down back into Richmond coming over the bridge where the marshals had their hands full keeping the traffic at bay.
Due to the organisers trying to keep the race affordable the finish of the race has changed. This is a downhill section alongside the castle walls and a tricky descent down into the Batts. A short sprint section across the grass to the finish is a bit of a lottery with those of us without a decent grip on the soles of our shoes as the steady drizzle made conditions underfoot gluey.
At the end, there’s a t-shirt and a cup of water for all finishers, although today a Lemsip and a ten-minute blast from a hairdryer on its highest setting might have been more appreciated. From what I could see just a few Harriers braved the rain but those hardy souls, and all the competitors, did themselves proud.
All in all an excellent race with some testing ascents, long descents and a scary section over wet cobbles. One I’ll definitely sign up for next year and hopefully, a few Harriers will too.
“I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”David Lee Roth
Race Results – https://ukresults.net/2019/richmond.html