While many of us will still be nursing the indulgencies of Christmas and working out innovative ways of using up the last of the turkey, over 1000 runners will be taking part in the Ribble Valley 10K on 28 December. The event is known its fast times, and with a series of elites already confirmed, this year’s event looks likely to follow suit.
The Ribble Valley 10K can be traced back to the early 1980s when Clayton Le Moors Harriers, Ron Hill’s club, first organised the race in the winter as the Clitheroe 1K, in parallel with the Clitheroe 10 Mile. Although the 10 miler fell by the wayside the 10k race survived. Blackburn Harriers took over the organisation of the race in 1998 at a time when entry numbers were only at the 300 mark.
Entry levels now regularly exceed 1000 and a record number of almost 1500 took part in 2012. As part of the Northern 10K Road Championships, the race invariably throws up a series of strong performances: in 2011, Jonny Mellor set a course record of 29:10, outsprinting Alistair Brownlee in the process. Helen Clitheroe is the current female record holder with a time of 32:30.
Confirmed participants for the upcoming race includes current record holder Jonny Mellor, Keith Gerrard (who boasts a PB of 28:27) and recent Telford 10K winner John Beattie. Anthony Ford, Joe Bailey, Ben Fish and Luke Gunn are all capable of sub 30 minute performances and likely to compete at the top end of the field.
In the women’s competition, Helen Clitheroe looks to be the strongest on paper, closely followed by Jess Coulson (PB of 33 flat), Telford 10K winner Rebecca Robinson and Katie Good.
While the event has been popular with the elites, it also presents a great opportunity for runners of all abilities and those looking to get their training on track immediately after Christmas.
You can still enter the Ribble Valley10K here; registration is priced at £16.70 for non-club members.