The Road Race Championships kicked off in style yesterday with the very welcome return of the Dronfield 10k after a year in exodus with an amazing 70 bees taking to the start line, unfortunately, we had a few dropouts due to Covid and illness but the DRC colours were on full show to challenge the Striders Golds.
After a miserable morning, the weather picked up with arguably perfect running conditions with a slight headwind. All eyes were on the front runners as several DRC’s sought glory. We were off and a sea of clean Daz white, red and black vests were laid out ahead up the first climb up Pentland Road as the packs and positions began to take shape.
Michael Kenyon got off to a great start, closely followed by 6 DRC vests making up the top 10, slightly back a mix of close battles and support took place with positions in minds but eclipsed by many runners taking part in their favourite event and for most the first race of the year.
The female contest was taking shape too, with the top positions including our own Becky Hansen and Hannah Walker both keeping a close eye on their Steel City Strider Counterparts.
League 1 had an almost full outing with 17 of 21 taking to the pavement, with big points up for grabs. Liam Turner is well on his way back to his best with a strong outing following several injury setbacks with Michael Kenyon taking top points with Tom Shaw and Phil Skelton in hot pursuit. There are some familiar faces taking the early top positions in league 1, with a mid-table battle already taking shape for those European spots, it will be interesting how this one unfolds with some runners yet to race and race selection being a big factor too in this one.
League 2 looked to be an even closer run thing with an early opportunity to take a lead even just 11 out of 21 runners in the mix. But it is Collette who makes the early Gains with a brilliant performance, third DRC lady and sits aloft league 2 with maximum points, closely followed by David Johnston-Keay and Ian Sapsford both with great shows, with several runners yet to race. A special thanks to Will Newton for stepping in to pace at the last minute.
Highlights and runners to watch in 2. Small margins count as a showdown emerged between Oli Constable and John Daly fighting for positions in the closing straight. Daly just stealing in for the Net time by 1 second and claiming that all important extra point. Revenge on the cards next time around and one to watch.
League 3 saw 4 runners separated by a mere 6 seconds, elbows flying in those final meters I’m sure with Sarah Sanderson, Chris Wright , Andy Britton, Helen Colley all fighting it out. Noticeable mention goes to Simon Wood who continues his surge of recent pbs and excellent performances to sit pretty at the top of league 3, making him the man to beat.
In 4, 13 runners lined up at the start, but it was Mark James making an early statement with a cracking time to sit top of league 4. As expected with the DRC there has been some amazing performances, most noticeably in League 4 with what looks to be 6 runners achieving 10k PBs.
Luck wasn’t with us today as Michael Kenyon was pipped to victory by Strider Robert Byers.
Well done to Becky Hansen for 3rd lady, Hannah Walker, 4th and winning her age group. Phil Skelton who at the Dronfield 10k, has always been the bridesmaid but never the bride, claimed victory in the V40 category. Tom Shaw also claimed a prize for his age group.
A brilliant morning of running from everyone at DRC, including supporters, volunteers, and residents. It was great to see so many around the course.
The league tables can be found here on the DRC website https://www.dronfieldrc.co.uk/road-champs any issues or discrepancies please get in touch.
Next up is the Sheffield Half Marathon, 27th March, see you there for race 2 which I’m sure will be another enthralling encounter!