July 16, 2006
Steven Neil 54:14
Tracey Morris 56:22
No. of finishers
The "undulating" course at the Eccup 10 prompted a few runners to question the precise definition of the word as they struggled up and down what felt like mountain after mountain.
In fact, it probably wouldn't be that tough at 7am on a spring morning, but on July 16 the weather was beautifully clear and hot, so after a relatively shady first four or five miles, which took the runners down to the wooded edge of the Eccup reservoir, a long section of the course ran along unsheltered country lanes.
By the time the race headed back into the shade for the final few miles, it was too late for those who'd suffered in the sun to salvage much in the way of performance, but most didn't mind. They'd enjoyed the beautiful views of fields, meadows and the reservoir, as well as the quiet roads, fantastically supportive marshals and a generous four drinks stations. If anything the glorious weather seemed to lend the race a relaxed, good-natured atmosphere.
Many returning runners were dismissive of the heat - apparently part of the package at this event - and no-one could fault the course or organisation. The winners certainly didn't feel the heat, perhaps because they were finished by 11am, and local girl (and GB international) Tracey Morris wiped two minutes off the women's course record.