Sunday 16th June was down for a 10k race on my training plan, so I registered for the Castle Howard 10k. This is a gorgeous scenic race through the the stately home’s stunning grounds.
Castle Howard is fairly close to where I live so it wasn’t too much of an early start – plenty of time to get some porridge into me and grab a banana for a pre-race snack.
There is a fun run and a 6k race that start before the 10k, which kicks of at 11.15. Because this is a smaller race, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about fighting traffic.
Free parking is provided in a field about 5 minutes walk from the race start. There’s ample space, but it can get a bit slippy if it’s a wet year. This year was hot and sunny so no problems getting in and out of the parking.
There are toilets near the race start for runners to use – the queues can be pretty long but they are inside toilets with toilet paper which is always nice – better than a grotty portaloo!
The race started a couple of minutes late to allow some stragglers who were stuck in toilet queues to arrive. The start is quite narrow so for the first 100 yards it’s just a case of holding your own – after that the pack thins out and there is no crowding on the route.
There was a warm up before the start but only 2 people joined in – perhaps because the PA system was quite poor so no one knew it was happening.
The route is 10.45k in total – that extra .45k can be a real shock if you don’t know about it and are only prepared to run 10k. It is a 2 lap route, on good quality trails that show you some of the highlights of the estate. Most of the laps are flat or gently sloped, apart from the end of each lap. Here, you run up a steep bridge and then up another steep slope on the other side. It’s only a few minutes, but it can be a killer and many people choose to walk.
Even though it’s a small race there are plenty of folk to clap you over the line. Timing is taken manually, no timing chips.
A commemorative mug and a bottle of water 🙂
I crossed the line in 1.04.47, so averaged a 10 minute mile. I’m happy with that! Previous years I’ve walked the steep section but this year I ran non-stop so it was a great 10k. Leeds 10k is coming up next month followed by York 10k in August, I’m hoping to sub-60 minute in both of those.