Organisers Nice Work made a few changes to their Oundle 20 Mile (Sunday 15 March) that enabled the event to go ahead. The weather tried to spoil the party but nothing stopped the female winner from breaking the course record by a substantial margin.
Such is the popularity of this race that at the end of January, Nice Work released an extra 200 places. Quiet country lanes and attractive Northamptonshire villages are amongst some of the reasons for this demand along with the efficient marshals and bespoke medal. This event fundraises for Oundle Primary School.
The organisers took the current situation with the coronavirus outbreak into account and following advice from experts, requested that runners bring their own sanitizers and snacks. They also asked that people refrain from any hand contact with each other, the race team and volunteers.
There were challenging conditions at the 3rd Oundle 20 Mile Road Race but marshals kept smiling through thewind and rain as they applauded the runners on their way. They followed a single lap course around Fotheringay, Nassington, Yarwell and King’s Cliffe and the mild undulations meant a PB was possible.
Competition was fierce at the front of the race and continued until the end. Phil Martin of Peterborough and Nene Valley AC was the winner in 1:55:18, beating his clubmate Kirk Brawn into second place in 1:55:57. Ty Farrer of Hunts AC was third in 1:56:20. These top three finishers were inside the course record.
Lincoln Wellington AC’s Sophie Darling looked in control as she sped around the course to become the first female in 2:13:22 – knocking seven minutes off the course record.
Everyone appreciated Nice Work’s efforts to deliver a well-organised race in these difficult times.
Image courtesy of Michelle Lewis