Ravenstonedale 10k – 26th November 2023

by Josh Pearson

I only signed up for this race around 1 week before the event took place. I thought it would be great to test myself over a harder and hillier 10k with mainly up and downhill and basically no flat sections at all.

I arrived at the event around 1 hour before the race. I had a wander around the small village and the outskirts of the village and the views were out of this world. I managed to check out the final 0.5 mile or so at the end of the race and it was apparent that even there, the hills were going to be a big factor.

With it being 1 degree or so I left the warm up until right near the start so I didn’t cool off too soon and freeze. I did a jog on part of the route and saw the top end of the village after a nice hill. Before the race I was chatting with a local runner Richard Trowles and we discussed the race tactics for the day.

Race Start:
Before the race there was a lad in a Richmond & Zetland vest looking around and scouting the field who looked raring to go. When the gun went off there was another lad from Howgill Harriers who went off like Usain Bolt and took a big gap. We were going 5:30 mile pace and he was a good 20 metres ahead already. Sensibly, I didn’t follow that pace and I stayed back in 6th at the half mile point where the first sharp hill arrived. Just after we crested the hill which was sharp but only lasted around 200 metres, I passed a local runner from Aycliffe Running Club, Richard Trowles and another lad who was right alongside him, to then climb into 4th place. Somewhere just before the 0.75 mile point I managed to pass the lad who went off like Usain Bolt and then came back to the field.

At the 1 mile point I was in 3rd and was running near enough alongside the lad in 2nd place. First place at this point was around 15 metres ahead of us but making a little move. Those who know me know that I like to do my course research before I do a race and I knew that the 1-1.5 mile stretch that was upcoming was one of the hardest hills on the course, so at this point it was just about keeping with the lad near me and not going so fast that it would make me burn up later. For the next mile it was a nice downhill section that took us back down to the finish area which you run through to do the big lap of the course. We ran through the village and slowly, the lad in 1st was making a bigger gap, also the lad in 2nd was making a little gap on me.

As you get out of the village you turn left into the nice country roads, there was very little wind but what there was was slightly into us at this point. The 3 – 4.5 mile stretch was a pretty tough slog, gradually climbing. When we reached the 4.5 mile mark we headed on a main road that had a nice downhill section ’til around 4.8 miles, the lad in 1st had a big gap (I found out after the race that his best ever 10k time was earlier this year at the Leeds Abbey Dash in 33:41), the lad in second had made around 30 metres on me with just over 1.2 miles to go.

Final Push
Just before 5 miles there was this steep and twisting little hill but I knew after we crested it that it was mainly downhill to the finish. When I got to 5.2 miles on the watch I made a push for the finish. I was around 25 metres behind 2nd at this point, I put the pedal down and was gaining on the guy who was also flying. At 5.9 miles I would say I had brought the gap down to around 6-7 metres. I knew that at the 6 mile point there was a sharp little 150 metre uphill section before a steep downhill last 300 metres or so. I was close to the guy but he just had about 4-5 metres on me. As he crested this sharp hill he just had enough to keep the gap and pip me to the line (In the final mile the lad who finished 2nd ran 5:18 and I managed 5:09 which was an unreal battle and great fun). After we finished he admitted that he could hear my footsteps getting closer and was glad there wasn’t another 200 metres. Really good event.

After the race the prize presentation was great and as well as the typical race prizes and age category prizes they did a raffle style prize as well, where your race number was your ticket (random prizes and someone from Aycliffe Running Club won a stepladder lol) We got a soup and it was well organised.

I would recommend this event to anyone who fancies a nice scenic route! If you’re after a PB I would say try somewhere else lol but if you want a nice challenge then give it a go.

Ravenstonedale 10k 2023 Results:

1st Place: Matthew Lambert – Richmond & Zetland Harriers – 34:51
2nd Place: Barney Plumber – Helm Hill Harriers – 35:32
3rd Place: Josh Pearson – Crook & District AC – 35:36
4th Place: Marc Ellis – Quakers RC – 37:26
5th Place: Brian Pennington – Howgill Harriers – 38:19

1st Female (11th Place Overall) Betty Richardson – Keswick AC – 39:53