After a hiatus last year when organisers were forced to cancel the race due to severe flooding, the town of Clitheroe will welcome back an old favourite on Tuesday 27 December, the Ribble Valley 10K. With entry levels already at 900 and rising, its return has been warmly embraced by runners in Lancashire, with the race’s status enhanced by the fact it incorporates the Northern Athletics 10K Championships.
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 10K, 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.
As part of the 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 for the upcoming race and likely to be in contention is Blackburn Harrier Ben Fish and Lincoln Wellington duo Tom Straw and Shane Robinson. In the women’s competition, Fiona Brian, with a PB of 35:44, and Lancaster’s Sarah Hodgson, will be hard to beat.
While the 10k is known to attract the elites, it opens its arms to runners across the country, as a recent post from organisers highlighted: “This race is for all abilities from 30 minutes to 1 hour plus. It’s literally about getting the best out of yourself whatever level you are at.”
Entry is priced at £17, or £15 for club members. Further information is available at the event website.