The decision to extend the Alderley Edge Bypass to a 10k race looks to have paid off with organisers confirming that Sunday’s (2 July) event is a sell-out. What’s more, an interesting club competition is on the cards, with Wilmslow Running Club, Macclesfield Harriers and Stockport Harriers all vying for the first ever Alderley Edge Club Challenge.
The story of the race’s inception is intrinsically tied to the village’s recent history: the Alderley Edge bypass opened in 2010 after decades of local campaigning to relieve Alderley Edge and Nether Alderley of the heavy through traffic, particularly at peak times. As a one-off, a five-mile event was held to celebrate its completion.
In 2016 the five-mile race was held again, and, after taking into consideration feedback from runners, event organiser Andrew Whittingham decided to extend the event from five miles to 10k for 2017. The extension means that Sunday’s race will now begin off the bypass and, to ensure the course retains its fast profile, the additional 1.2 miles are either flat or downhill making it a quicker event than previously.
As such, there is palpable excitement leading into Sunday’s race, and, in addition to the Club Challenge, a number of confirmed elites will be contesting the individual spots. Looking likely to front the female competition is Gemma Connolly, third April’s Greater Manchester Marathon, Kirsty Longley, recently crowned Tour of Tameside defending champion, and Alison Lavender, runner-up at the Wilmslow Half Marathon.
The men’s field is just as competitive and it looks like there will be a compelling battle between three runners, Andrew Davies, third Brit at the Virgin London Marathon, Jonny Mellor, who sports a 28:40 PB over 10k, and Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, who has been enjoying a remarkably successful season so far.
Look our for our race report on what is surely going to be an engaging contest early next week.