Two years in and the Wilmslow Festive 10K can surely think of itself as one of the big-hitters on the Christmas racing calendar with close to 2500 runners competing at Sunday’s (26 November) race – almost double the number that took part in 2016.
On top of allowing competitors the chance to take part in a local event prior to the madness of the festive season, the 10k has clearly been identified as one with PB potential – the top four runners on Sunday all dipped beneath the 31 minute barrier.
Departing from the centre of Wilmslow, the field took on a point-to-point course that finished at the same location as the popular Waters Wilmslow Half Marathon. Runners then embarked on a scenic route that moved out of Wilmslow, along Knutsford Road before looping back round to Burleyhurst Lane for a finish on Sandy Lane.
Cardiff’s Matthew Clowes followed up his success in 2016 with another strong performance to defend his title. Clowes, who took first place at the recent Cheshire 10K, crossed the line first in 29:46 (nine seconds quicker than last year), with Blackburn Harriers’ Ben Fish taking second (30:35) and Chris Arthur (30:54) third.
Clayton-Le-Moors’ Laura Hesketh set a PB of 34:28 en route to victory in the women’s competition, capping what has been a strong year for the Lancashire athlete. Katy Hedgethorne (34:45) and Gemma Connolly (35:52) were Hesketh’s closest competitors.
The combination of fast times across the board and a turnout that has doubled in just two years represents a massive success for Wilmslow-based race promoters, Run North West. A recent post on their Facebook paid expressed delight at how Sunday’s race turned out: “Wow!! What an amazing morning at the Wilmslow Festive 10K! Congratulations to everyone who took part today - you're all incredible!”