Fort For The Day

In its four-year history, the Sandal Castle 10K has become one of the fastest growing races in the North. Organiser Brian Williamson’s target is a place in the RUNNER’S WORLD Hot 100. And with its testing cross-country course, musical marshals and burgeoning popularity – 858 entries up from 650 last year – it should achieve that with ease. The course will thrill the breed of runner who enjoyed school cross-country because its undulating route is 95 per cent trail and field. The testing course made for slow times and first home was Richard Findlow in 32:43, while Dianne Waite was first woman (40:18).

The straight-talking runners of Yorkshire think it’s a gem. And they may have a point. For, in the world of the 10K, South Wales has the fastest, London the biggest, Scotland the hilliest and Wolverhampton the best T-shirts. Sandal Castle is, they reckon, “simply the best”.
(Right) We all love marshals. Typically, they are a hardy bunch of former runners whose girth has increased exponentially since their decision to stop running. But a new breed of marshal was unveiled in Wakefield. For at Sandal Castle, musical marshals made their début. Instead of wearing flouro bibs, some dressed in regimented uniforms, colourful T-shirts and BritRock garb. And rather than shouting ‘Put It In’ or ‘Go On, Roger’, they played the theme tune from Lord Of The Rings and belted out Marley-esque tunes on their kettle drums.

(Left)The castle views certainly didn’t 'ruin' the race experience for the record 858 entrants. Among them was running legend Ron Hill, who finished in the top half of the field in 51:06.