Royston, South Yorkshire
November 13, 2005
Martin Sanders 32:42
Tracey Morris 36:01
No. of finishers
Think of South Yorkshire, and - if you're not from the area - you probably think of coal. The coking plant near the start of the Barnsley 10K did nothing to counteract this stereotype but, despite being at the top of a steep climb, it didn't do anything to deter the 600-odd runners, either.
After a one-minute silence for Remembrance Day and a shaky start, where the start banner was erected 50 yards away from the actual start line and not all the field could hear the shout of, "Ready, steady, go!", the race ran far smoother than the terrain.
The autumn weather was perfect for running - the sun was shining, the sky was clear and there was a crispness in the air - and once past the industrial plant, runners were treated to rolling, open countryside.
The course is predominantly undulating until between 6K and 7K, where what was described as "a bit of a hill" was discovered to be a long drag, testing the legs of already tired runners. There was also a sting in the tail: a short, sharp incline before a flat finish along a narrow path.
Throughout the ups and downs, the sight of Yorkshire's adopted golden girl Tracey Morris - who won the race in 36:01 - and lots of encouragement from the marshals kept runners in high spirits. By the finish, the sights, sounds and smells of that coking plant were a distant memory.