Officials at the Trafford 10K were forced into some quick thinking as a pony decided to run part of the Manchester course on Sunday (5 March). Its arrival occurred on a day when 800 plus runners were handed wet conditions – despite this double handicap, many still took advantage of the fast route with Chris Thompson and Elinor Kirk top in their respective fields.
Organised by Altrincham and District AC, the 10k starts at Partington Leisure Centre in South Manchester, and is known for its fast and flat course. Pre-race anticipation was high with a host of elite runners committing– registrations in the men’s field uncovered 150 runners who boasted a PB of sub 32 minutes
Thompson, who had capped off 2016 with a fine fifth place performance at the San Silvestre Vallecana Internacional, looked in superb form as he took first in 28:55. Richard Horton (29:27) just managed to edge out Highgate Harriers’ Andy Maud (29:28) in an exciting contest for second position. Each of the top five completed the 10k in under 30 minutes.
Swansea’s Kirk headed the female field with a winning time of 33:29, with Sunderland Strollers’ Aly Dixon second (33:40) and Lauren Howarth grabbing third spot in 34:00. Lee Callanan placed midpoint in the field in 41:47, while the last runner came home in 1:36:20.
While many of Sunday’s runners will have returned home with an impressive time, if not a PB, the talking point centred on the surprise visit of a pony on the course. Most were able to take it in their stride, particularly Aidan Grant, who commented on the Trafford 10K Facebook page: “Well done to the marshals who caught the run-away pony. Being overtaken by it was probably the most surreal thing that's happened to me during a race!”