In short: Good value midweek 10k on an undulating course In full: I decided to enter this race after enjoying the another one organised by Rochdale Harriers, the Norden 6, the previous month. Like that one, is is a fun midweek race that is great value for money.
The course starts and finishes in a park but most of it takes place on roads around the town. It is undulating, very little flat but most of the inclines aren't too steep. The climb back through the park near the end is a challenge if you're flagging, but does at least mean it is all downhill for the last couple of hundred metres. Not what you'd call a PB course, but I somehow managed to bag one myself so there's definitely some potential for one. The roads are not closed (what do you expect for £5 UKA/£7 non-UKA?) but there didn't seem to be any problems.
The field of about 300 was mostly club runners, so the average pace was quite fast, and that coupled with the up and down course means I wouldn't recommend it to a first timer unless they were confident of coming in at under an hour. I say this because the last part of the course is on the same road used by cars leaving the car park. Traffic was already leaving along this fairly narrow road while there were still some runners out on the course. Date of review: July 14, 2013
In short: Well worth the drive from Stoke - a classic 10k race In full: This race is friendly, well organised, great for new runners and club runners alike, a nice, challenging course, great facilities (snack shop, running stall, changing rooms, loos, I think I saw showers too).
The race starts and finishes in Springfield Park which and goes up and down the hilly streets of Rochdale. The landscape might not sound appealing, but that's not what this race is about. This race is special because it's great for anyone who is new to running, new to a club, unaffiliated or a long term club member. After the challenging hills, there's a long, undulating run that eventually descends into Springfield Park. Runners and spectators at the finish cheer their clubmates, friends, rivals and strangers in as they go down that last straight bit of road before the descent into the finish. It's a really uplifting way to finish a race that is, deservedly, getting more popular.
I'm sure that there will be one or tow Michael Winner types who will moan about the memento (a pair of unbranded socks), but really, if you train for (and pay for races) for the contents of a goody bag, then you're missing the bigger picture - this is a great, uplifting, well organised, charming race with nor frills. The socks always bring a smile to my face.
I moved away from Manchester a few years ago but always make sure I get here straight from work in Stoke to do this race - it remains my favourite 10k. Many thanks to all organisers and volunteers - this race is an absolute classic. Date of review: July 2, 2013
In short: Still a favourite In full: Done this 10k more than any other, harder to get to now I work in Stoke but made the trip this year. Nice race, nice atmosphere, undulating/hilly course - never a dull moment. Everyone moans about the socks - have they compared the price of this race to other 10ks?!?! Race photos free too. Many thanks Rochdale Date of review: July 30, 2012
In short: Friendly, well organised urban 10K In full: Good marshalling. Well organised apart from running out of water at the finish. Challenging course but because there's as many downhill sections as uphill climbs, a PB is possible. Date of review: July 11, 2011
In short: challenging,friendly,well organised, terrible memento In full: not hilly,but slightly tougher than an undulating course. Very easy to find, very friendly and for all abilities. Course itself besides the park start and finish is quite dull but the marshalls were very friendly and supportive. My only major gripe was the socks as a memento, yes its a change from t shirts and medals but theyre not even running socks, you get 5 pairs for a fiver on the market lol. It just makes you wonder afterwards were your entry fee went, you dont mind if most goes to a charity but didnt notice one mentioned. Date of review: July 5, 2011