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Record smashed as runners brave the cold at Telford 10k - with pictures

By Rob Smith | Telford | News | Published:

A new lightning-quick course record was set at the latest Telford 10k, which saw about 1,200 runners flowing through the town park and beyond.

A bleak, blustery day did not deter the fastest runners, several of whom came in under the previous course record of 28.51.

Before Sunday, the record had stood for 15 years.

With 20 years of experience, the organisers made sure the event ran like clockwork, with the 10k divided into three races.

The elites (men expected to run 10k in under 40 minutes) set off first, followed by the second race 40 minutes later for women faster than 40 minutes as well as some later male entries. Then the main event for all of those expected to run over 40 minutes set off last.

The route used the town park as well as the Silkin Way. Scotsman Adam Craig broke the previous course record with his first place finish at 28.31.

Dave Mansbridge of Telford Athletics Club, which organises the race, said the course is always eyed up by elite runners for its personal best potential.

The main race preparing to start

"It's just such a fast course," he said. "There's not many opportunities to get fast courses in the UK and this is one of the flattest. Elite runners from all over the country have come here.

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"It tends to get more runners finishing in under 30 minutes than any other race in the country.

"We've even got runners from New Zealand and the Netherlands and all over the place looking for fast times.

"It's not just flat, it's heavily tree-lined and it's well sheltered from the wind. It's a very windy day but you've got no wind at all down here. Even when the weather's not favourable you still get fast times.

"I've been organising this for 20 years now. It started off with about 100 runners. We could have taken a couple of thousand but it's just too many people for the park so we limit it to about 1,200."

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Adam Craig, who finished first with a course record time of 28.31

Record-breaker Mr Craig, from near Edinburgh, was running neck and neck with Ethiopian Omar Ahmed who came second.

Mr Craig is based near Manchester at an athlete house and runs for Team New Balance Manchester.

He said: "Once I broke the boy in second that was when it hit and I was like 'I'm going to enjoy this now'. I saw the clock and I knew we were quick, but not that quick.

"I've won it and I've run a crazy time. I'm definitely going to take that as my win.

"I heard good things about this course and heard it was fast. It's amazing in the trees as well, so sheltered. A really good course.

"I played rugby and football when I was younger and then probably 15, 16 I started taking [running] seriously.

"I went out to the States on a scholarship in 2015 and since then I've kind of jumped on levels. Before I went out there I was an average national runner and then I came back and now I'm winning races like this."

He said he would celebrate his win with a pizza and maybe a fizzy drink before returning to training.

See our pictures:

"Thank you for the organisers and everyone who has put us on. It's quite a narrow runway and there were no hold-ups, no walkers in the way, no runners coming towards us.

"It was really well-organised and put on."

Sarah Bentley from Staffordshire was a spectator with Dotty the spaniel, supporting Sarah's husband Darren.

She said that she accompanies Darren to a race "nearly every weekend".

"We're from Burntwood in Staffordshire," she said. He's not done the 10k before, he did the Ironbridge Half Marathon that starts here.

"It's always friendly, lovely surroundings and it's nice. Just a shame the sun's not shining.

"It's quite busy and well-supported which I think is good for the runners."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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