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Everybody is a winner at Thatcham 10k race





The wind and mud were no match for runners in Thatcham at the weekend.

Nearly 250 runners donned their trainers and took part in the town’s first 10k race.

Organiser and councillor Ben Schiffer-Harte at the starting line, picture: Chris Culley
Organiser and councillor Ben Schiffer-Harte at the starting line, picture: Chris Culley

The wet weather did pose challenges for the event organisers though, who had to settle for their contingency route.

There were still plenty of muddy pathways for runners to squelch along, but the route change avoided any wading through the reed beds and slipping along the canal towpath.

We did it!, picture: Chris Culley
We did it!, picture: Chris Culley

And there was an interesting twist at the finish line.

The runner who crossed first and the fastest runner over 10k were not the same person.

Four early front runners missed a turning early on and the organisers had to quickly communicate a revised route for them so they didn’t fall short of running 10k.

This meant two first place awards were handed out.

Running together, picture: Chris Culley
Running together, picture: Chris Culley

One first place was awarded to the fastest runner over 10k, Stephen Edwards of Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds RC and another to the first man over the line Ethan Kuijten of Team Kennet Athletics & Triathlon Club.

The first female over the line was Claire Hall.

She told Newburytoday: “It's been great to have another friendly and local race, really good set up for family and friends supporting seeing them a couple of times on the course.

“Having not raced for a while it was wonderful to have one so close.

“Ben did an incredible job at making this happen, in only seven months.

“Thanks to all the marshals as ever and a huge well done to the second and third ladies, a brilliant, muddy race, though I didn't manage to catch my husband."

The first club team honours went to Newbury Athletic Club thanks to Steve Barnes, Aston Howse and Emily Craggs.

Running hand in hand, picture: Chris Culley
Running hand in hand, picture: Chris Culley

The first corporate team prize was won by Roots Estate Agency thanks to Thomas Bailey, Becky Baily and Craig Butcher.

More than £1,000 was raised for the mayor of Thatcham’s two chosen charities West Berkshire PALS and Sport in Mind.

Hello!, picture: Chris Culley
Hello!, picture: Chris Culley

“The response from runners and volunteers has been amazing, and the two charities that I’m supporting this year, PALS West Berks and Sport in Mind, will really benefit from the money raised.

“I’m sure this will be a regular fixture on the calendar in future years.”

Newbury Soup Kitchen benefited from £400 in donations after kindly providing refreshments at the sell-out event.

High fives for everyone, picture: Chris Culley
High fives for everyone, picture: Chris Culley
Mayor of Thatcham Mark Lillycrop with runners, picture: Chris Culley
Mayor of Thatcham Mark Lillycrop with runners, picture: Chris Culley

Donations will be made to BBOWT and Thatcham Angling for accommodating sections of the route.

Town councillor and member of the Thatcham 10k committee Justin Pemberton said: “We were delighted to see the Thatcham 10k take place in the town for the first time thanks to ground-breaking partnerships forged with the Town Council, our partners, suppliers, sponsors and volunteers.

"The event will hopefully now be embedded within the annual town calendar - given its success and the wealth of experience everybody brought to the initiative.

“It was a real team effort to deliver this inaugural event and we’ve taken lots of useful learnings from this first year.

Police get in on the fun, picture: Chris Culley
Police get in on the fun, picture: Chris Culley
A very pleased winner, picture: Chris Culley
A very pleased winner, picture: Chris Culley

“All being well, our ambition is to grow the size of the event to accommodate the level of demand which was evident, as well as to plan further ahead and ensure it becomes even more successful in the future.

"Everybody who played a part in the race should be extremely proud of their efforts".



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