Holmfirth 10k returned last month for the first time since the pandemic and organiser Michael Sanderson has ambitions to grow the race further and make it bigger next year.
The race was last held in 2019 and for the comeback event more than 130 runners took part over a new course. The race is organised by the running club Holmfirth Harriers, and Kirklees charity The Kirkwood was the official race charity, with the club making a £500 donation following the event.
It’s the sixth time the event has taken place but it was Michael’s first as the organiser and he was delighted with the success.
“I thought the event went really well,” said Michael. “I wasn’t nervous to begin with but the closer the race got the more I worried about every detail of it!
“There were a few things I’d learned and I will take those into consideration next year. We had 133 runners for this race. In previous years we’ve had as many as 200 taking part so to say it was the first one back after the pandemic I was happy.
“A lot of races are down on numbers at the moment but having slightly reduced numbers helped me in my first race. Now we want to grow it and get it back to pre-Covid levels.”
This year’s race was won by Ian Du Feu, of Stadium Runners, with April Caufield, of Halifax Harriers, finishing as the first female.
Michael added: “I’d like to thank all the runners for taking part and also everyone who helped make the event possible.”
The race began on Greave Road in Hade Edge, the runners then came to a steady climb around 1.5km to Harden before dropping down to Winscar and running along the edge of the Reservoir. The route then dropped down further into Dunford Bridge. A second climb brought you up along Winscar Edge. There was a leveling off section giving participants a chance to breathe before one final steady climb back past the reservoir and up towards Harden again. The race finishes with a lap of the recreation ground back where it began.
The Holmfirth 10k has evolved from the Holmfirth 15; a historic road race that was first held in 1968. The original event was at one point ranked as one of Britain’s top road races. Run each November, the quality of the field in the early years was high. Bill Adcocks – who represented GB in the 1968 Olympic marathon triumphed twice, while the legendary Ron Hill won in 1972.
Veronique Marot – who held the UK women’s marathon record of 2:25:56 for 13 years, until Paula Radcliffe broke it in 2002 – set the race’s female record in 1987, with a time of 1:23:50.
A gradual drop in entrants and resources contributed to the decline of the race however, and Holmfirth Harriers made the tough decision to cease staging the race after the 2011 event.
This only reinvigorated interest, however, and in 2015 the race was reintroduced along with a new 10k route to appeal to the new breed of runner!
This continued through to 2018, which saw the 50th anniversary of the 15 mile race. Numbers had again dwindled however, with the 10k option proving much more popular. A decision was therefore taken to proceed with just the 10k race.
Here are some images from the day taken by The Yorkshire Runner Photos.