The rain tried but failed to stop play for runners at a wet, windy and muddy Rodbaston 10K (Sunday 29 September) but they had to dig deep throughout this off-road challenge.
Organisers Mash Running advised participants to wear trail shoes due to the terrain but wellingtons or even waders may have been required as heavy rain turned the ground into a mudbath. It was a case of keep calm and run on in spite of the conditions and many did so with a smile on their face.
Dark clouds gathered above the start line as runners waited to start from Rodbaston Hall, Penkridge in Staffordshire with a tough course ahead of them. The course is used by the North Staffs Cross Country League and, whilst known for its trails and shallow stream crossings, was muddier than in previous years.
Mud, obstacles, a cornfield and two deep (instead of shallow) streams lay in wait for runners as they set off at 11am around this 180-hectare country estate. Marshals encouraged them every muddy step of the way and cheerful police cadets handed out their hard-earned medals at the finish.
Tyler Hawley of Wolverhampton & Bilston AC battled through the mud and water to win in 43:09. Matt Pilkington of Chorlton Runners was second in 44:16 with John Harrison of Staffordshire Police third in 44:50.
Tricky terrain didn’t prevent Joanne Palmer of Lichfield RC from winning the women’s race in 50:50, followed by teammate Esther Hunt in 51:17. Christine Symms of Wrekin RR came third in 53: 38.
Wolverhampton & Bilston AC won the biggest team trophy.
Many of the finishers have vowed to return next year for more muddy good fun.