Hardwick 10k - Thursday, July 21, 2022
Report by Tracy Knight
Myself and some other DRC'ers thought it would be a good idea to enter Hardwick 10k. The week before the race all anyone talked about was "The Hill" and trepidation grew when the Final Race Instructions arrived by email 4 days prior. The instructions said race t-shirts had to be collected at registration and wouldn't be available after the race. We had a get out, collect our race t-shirts and just go home. No need to do the race after all!
Race number and t-shirt collected we decided in the end to give it a go.
At the start line I spotted my neighbour and fellow DRC'er, Matt Lawrie. I asked him if he'd run it before and surely the hills can't be as bad as what we run round The Dronx? He just gave me a look. Oh Dear!!!
At 7:30pm on the dot the race began. Straight away you're heading up hill out of the village of Pilsley before making your way down country lanes towards Hardwick Hall. I'd only reached 3k when the eventual winner ran past me heading back to the start. An out and back route I was able to cheer on my fellow DRC'ers, Tom Shaw, Tom Briddock, Matt Lawrie and Carl Padley. All ended the race with impressive finish times.
Just after mile 2 the hill loomed in front of me. I managed to run a small section of it before admitting defeat and walking the rest. This gave me ample opportunity to stop and take photos of more DRC'ers coming down the hill, Mel Corby, Simon and Jenny Alexander. Again, impressive running by all 3 of them.
Finally at the top, I took on refreshments before making the journey down "The Hill" back to the start. Most of the runners heading down shouted words of encouragement to those climbing it and as there are 2 pubs on route there was a whole host of cheering and clapping from the spectators enjoying a refreshing pint or two.
As you head back into the village, the spectators lining the road back to the finish are just what is needed to give you that final push to get you over the line. A well organised and brilliant atmosphere has this race in my top 2 favourite races.
I loved it and can't wait to "Beat The Hill" next year. Who's with me?