More than 2,000 runners take on Shrewsbury 10k
This year’s Shrewsbury 10k saw more than 2,000 runners pound the county town’s streets, with a slightly altered route due to flooding.
The popular event, now in its 4th year, went ahead almost as planned shortly after 9am today, but with a diversion to avoid flooded paths in the Quarry.
The Abbey Foregate car park spilled over with runners’ vehicles after the Frankwell Riverside car park was closed, thanks to high water levels after heavy rain over the weekend.
The race itself went off without a hitch though, with regulars and first-timers alike cheered on by huge crowds throughout.
Race organiser Tom Meehan said: “It’s fantastic, brilliant to have such support from local people and from people who have travelled to be here.
“One gentleman in his 60s travelled from Hull.
“It is good to see so many people here, and I think when the weather is nice people stick around in the town which is good.”
One of those who travelled a long way for the race was Scottish runner James Semple, who runs regularly to raise money and awareness for a eye condition.
In 2014 James, who runs as Jay Cruz, lost his vision in 2014 to choroideremia, a progressive sight loss condition.
Since then he hasn’t been able to see his son Tyler-James’ face, and had to give up martial arts in which he competed.
He devoted himself to running, and is a common sight at long-distance event races across the UK in a kilt and helped by his supporters.
Jay, who wants to represent Team GB in the 2022 Tokyo Paralympics, said: “I was running for two reasons, firstly in memory of my uncle John Semple, who died in 2013 of cancer.
“He stayed down here, he lived in Shrewsbury and I have family in the area.
“He also did quite a lot of big runs, and he did the three peaks challenge. He was an inspiration.
“The other reason was to raise awareness and funds to get my eyesight restored.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the run, it’s a lovely place. I want to come back every year and catch up with my family.”
Jay, 39, finished in one hour and eight seconds and is battling ankle and tendon problems.
He said he is keen to hear from runners anywhere in the country who would be willing to train with him and support him in his journey.
To learn more and to donate visit facebook.com/JayCruzSemple/
The weather for the run itself was ideal, with clear skies and a light breeze, though heavy rain resumed at about 10.30am.
The first two runners to finish both hailed from the Tipton Harriers club, and both were first-timers to the event.
Richard Carpenter, 29, finished first in 32 minutes and 34 seconds, with Jonathan Carter, 34, only five seconds behind.
The two entered the race as training for the Midland 12 Stage Road Relays, and were impressed with the atmosphere in Shropshire’s county town.
Jonathan said: “It reminds me of my hometown run in East Yorkshire, it has a nice town centre finish.
“I was out drinking all day at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday, I didn’t feel great at the start, so I’m happy to run under 33 minutes.
“If it works out with schedules and things I think we will be back in future.”
Richard said: “There seemed to be a good level of support the whole way round, which really helps on the uphill bits.”
Just behind the pair from Tipton was Patrick Townsend, a Shrewsbury native who studies in Nottingham and runs with a club there.
Patrick, 23, finished in 32 minutes and 57 seconds. This was his second Shrewsbury 10k, after he took up running three years ago.