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Stubbington 10k

Race report by Tanya Bentley

On a morning in early September, the alarm woke me at 0545.  I grabbed my phone and credit card and through bleary eyes, punched in my details.  Five minutes later, with ‘Transaction Complete’ I had a place!  I pulled up the duvet and had another hour in bed.  By the time I was starting work at around 9am, the event was sold out.

Was I going to run in the Boston Marathon? Or did I have a ticket to Glastonbury?  No, I had a much sought after place to run the Stubbington 10k.  Lying just south of Fareham in Hampshire, Stubbington is a large village, surrounded by neatly kept residential roads of late 20th century architecture.  A place not dissimilar to say, Carnon Downs in style, but much flatter and rather bigger.

For a long time, I simply couldn’t understand why such an unassuming place, (that you may well never have heard of!), attracted so much demand for a 10k race that it has its own, dedicated Facebook page for people to trade transfers! Then a member of my second string club, Fareham Running Club explained.

The course is fast and flat, so provides a good opportunity to achieve a PB, and as it’s run in early January, it appeals to anyone hoping to post a good time at the beginning of the new year season.  With only 2000 places on offer, demand always outstrips supply, and I gather some people now hanker after a place, simply because it’s quite hard to get one!  

Parts of the course are quite exposed, rather like running along Cliff Road in Falmouth, so I was very glad it wasn’t blowing a south westerly gale.  In fact the weather was perfect - cold, but bright and sunny under a clear blue sky, as we started from Stubbington village and headed east along a mix of closed roads and wide pavements.  The course takes you alongside the airfield at Lee on the Solent, then down to the seafront.

Running along a quiet lane on such a beautiful winter’s day, with lovely views across to the Isle of Wight, couldn’t have been nicer and passing the 5k marker lifted the spirits further.  Turning inland again, along closed residential streets, for a few hundred metres you pass the super fast guys at the front, who have already completed a loop section.  I push on, in awe of their speed.

I was really hoping to improve on my time last year, but it was beginning to feel harder in the stretch from 8km to 9km running into a light, but cold breeze.  At last the village green and shops came into view and I crossed the line, just achieving a PB of 52.55, with a chip time of 51.38.

A really well organised race with a friendly atmosphere, plenty of local support and the luck of enjoying glorious weather, it had definitely been worth waking up early for to secure a place.


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