Market Drayton welcomes 2,000 runners to town for triumphant return of famous 10k
The Market Drayton 10k running event returned in style this weekend with around 2,000 competitors lining up for the main event and more joining in a fun run at the Grove School in the town.
Winner of Runners World best 10k for three years, the event was last held in full in 2019 - a much smaller event in October last year was hit by bad weather.
Sunday saw runners from across the Midlands, mid Wales and beyond line up for the race which took them on a lap of the school playing field before heading around the town centre.
Many clubs fielded strong teams, including Shropshire Shufflers, Wrekin Runners, Dudley Kingswinford and the host, Market Drayton Running Club with 50 competitors.
Market Drayton Running Club chairman Shaun Neuchterlein said the club was collaborating more closely with the 10k organisers to make the day a community event.
"The event is great for the town and we are keen to make it a real community day," he said.
His four-year-old daughter, Aurora was one of those taking part in the fun runs. She, along with sisters Scarlett, six, and Rosie, 11, Wylie, are members of Drayton's Maggie May's Performing Arts group and Rosie said keeping fit for her dancing had really helped her in her run.
The event attracts both new and seasoned athletes.
For Pete McGuinness it was his first 10k while fellow Shropshire Shuffler, Juan Reyes, took part in the Madrid Marathon a fortnight ago. He returned from Spain on the eve of the 10k and admitted he was feeling the cold.
Runners representing local law company, Onions and Davies took part to raise funds for Severn Hospice.
Solicitor, Louise Martin, said: "We chose the hospice as it is a local charity and we feel it is important to be part of the community. We have raise just over £500 so far."
Making the two-hour journey from Newtown were Maldwyn Harriers runners, Steve and Caroline Orrells.
Steve has been running "off and on" for about 40 years despite a hip replacement in 2010 while Caroline joined him running about 25 years ago and they enjoy going to events together.
Others have only started running recently.
Sam Azzopardi-Tudor from Donnington Runners was tackling her first 10k after starting with the couch to 5k plan at the end of lockdown. She was joined by one of the couch to 5k run leaders Jenny Tooze, a Telford Harrier.
New to running were cousins Samantha Godrey, 17, and Katie Cledwyn-Davies.
"We saw videos of a previous race and thought, we should do that. We signed up and all too quickly the day came round," Samantha said.
Chairman of Market Drayton 10k Geoff Chevins said he was delighted to see so many people taking part in the day and thanked everyone involved including volunteers such as the scout movement in Market Drayton helping in many ways on the day.
"We had about 2,000 runners," he said.
"We may not be the biggest event but we are one of the best and were voted Runners' World best 10k for three years running.
"People say we are good value for money with not only a T-shirt and medal but lots of other goodies thanks to our sponsors.
"We want everyone to feel part of the day and seeing the 0-2 year olds completing their 50 metres in the fun run was just brilliant. We hope our young fun runners will return to do the main event in future."
Sponsors included Mullers and Palethorpes, under the Compleat Food Group.
Leanne Massey, Senior HR Manager at The Compleat Food Group, said, “We’re very proud to be sponsoring the Market Drayton Fun Run and offering Wall’s sausage rolls from our Palethorpes Bakery to the runners as a post-race pick me up.
“It’s important to us at Compleat to be involved with the local area. Over the past few years community spirit and the health and wellbeing of our local residents has been more crucial than ever and so sponsoring the run is a fantastic way for us to show our support. Congratulations to everyone that took part in both the fun run and the 10k.”