Wins for Davies and Rock at Ipswich Twilight 10K
- Credit: Archant
There was a double Suffolk success at the Ipswich Building Society Ipswich Twilight 10K on Friday evening, with individual victories for Danny Rock and Helen Davies in very warm conditions.
This year's event promised to be even bigger and better than previous years, with a new course and a new race headquarters at Portman Road, the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, and it did not disappoint.
Runners had to cope with the energy-sapping heat, but both Rock and Davies made light of the conditions to take the individual titles.
For Rock, a member of Felixstowe Road Runners, it was his "best-ever race," while for Davies, by contrast, it was a mere welcome break from heavy training in her build up to running for Great Britain at the IAU 50km World Championships, to be held in Brasov, Romania, on September 1.
Rock went through the finish-line in 32mins 17secs, which was a personal best, eclipsing his 33:11 from last year's Little Bromley 10K.
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"I had to work really hard, but I enjoyed it," enthused Rock, who is coached by former leading Suffolk athlete Nigel Powley.
"I planned to run at between 5mins 10secs and 5:15 pace all the way around, and I think I managed that.
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"I got a lead early on, and I kept it. I could see what sort of lead I had, at various points on the course, because there were some out-and-back stretches and several tight turns.
"However, I knew what the course was like, and so I had practised taking the tight turn as wide as possible. There were three tight turns on each lap, and so six sharp turns in all.
"I don't mind the heat. I have just come back from working for a few weeks in Estonia, where it was very hot, although there was also a lot of rain.
"I've had to come back from injury recently, after having problems with my calf and knee ligaments, but I feel good now.
"In fact, this was definitely my best ever race, and my coach Nigel Powley will be delighted," added 37-year-old Rock, who was brought up in Trimley and now lives in Sproughton.
Second spot went to Ryan Prout, of Brentwood Running Club, who was 37 seconds adrift in 32:54. Gosport's Ben Toye was third (33:25) and Ipswich Tri Club's James Reeder fourth (33:39).
Meanwhile, 39-year-old Davies retained her Ipswich Twilight 10K title by finishing fifth overall, in a time of approximately 33mins 51secs.
"I had not planned to run so fast, because I am bang in the middle of a hard block of training for my ultra race," explained Davies, who is a member of host club Ipswich JAFFA and coached by one of the event organisers, Clive Sparkes.
Davies continued: "I thought I might run about 35 minutes, and was in two minds whether to run at all, because I did 90 miles in training last week and have run about 50 up to this point this week.
"But it's my local race, and I wanted to do it. There are lots of twists and turns, but I'm happy with my run.
"I was scheduled to do my long run tomorrow (Saturday), but instead I will do a 10-miler and then do the long run a day later on Sunday," added Davies.
JAFFA club-mate Laura Thomas a was fine runner-up in 36:54, which beat her previous best of 37:08, recorded at the Vitality London 10,000m in late May. An in-form Thomas began this month with a victory at the Great Bentley Friday Five.
Ipswich Harriers' Alice Goodwin was third in 39:21, followed by Kat Parnell (39:45) and Ipswich Harriers' Hannah Pettersson (39:55) in fourth and fifth respectively. JAFFA's Val Jennings was the leading veteran.
The race started on Constantine Road, outside the football club, and finish on the practise ground within the stadium area.
And the new route saw runners cover two laps around the town centre, with several out-and-back stretches, which proved very spectator friendly.
Runners went out along Princes Street, with an out-and-back stretch up Civic Drive, and then sections along the Buttermarket, Tavern Street, the Cornhill and Westgate Street.
They then doubled back and continued along Carr Street, Upper Orwell Strett, Tacket Street and Upper Brook Street, before returning to the Buttermarket and completing the lap down Queen Street, Friars Street, Franciscan Way and Princes Street back towards the football club.
Organised by Ipswich JAFFA, the 10K event has had big fields over the last four years, starting in 2015 when Tom Fairbrother led home a field of 700 in 33:31.
There were 996 finishers in 2016, with individual victories for Richard Green (35mins 26secs) and Emma Mortimer (39:34), while numbers grew to 1,270 finishers in 2017, spearheaded by race winner Ben Carpendale (34:19), of Felixstowe Road Runners, and West Suffolk AC's Megan Newton (36:22).
Last year, records were smashed with Ipswich Harriers' Jack Millar leading home a field of 1,295 finishers in an electric 30:40. Millar won the Framlingham 10K a month later, in 30:58.
JAFFA's own international marathon star, Helen Davies, was the first female and sixth overall in 34:15. She therefore retained her title on Friday evening, on a different course.
Top 40 men: 1 D Rock (Felixstowe RR) 32:17; 2 R Prout (Brentwood RC) 32:54; 3 B Toye (Gosport RR) 33:25; 4 J Reeder (Ipswich Tri Club) 33:39; 5 J Last (Framlingham Flyers) 34:24; 6 A Wade (Ipswich JAFFA) 34:49; 7 T Gavin (Felixstowe RR) 35:00; 8 S Burdett (Stowmarket Striders) 35:05; 9 M McKeown (Colchester Harriers) 35:06; 10 B Turley (JAFFA) 35:35.
11 C Baker 35:51; 12 J Marter (Fram/Flyers) 35:54; 13 J Glanfield (Felixstowe RR) 36:00; 14 L Barber (Fam/Flyers) 36:05; 15 P Wain (JAFFA) 36:13; 16 C Poulding (Saint Edmund Pacers) 36:14; 17 A Howlett (Fram/Flyers) 36:26; 18 K Hayles (Sudbury Joggers) 36:28; 19 A Coughlan (Vegan Runners) 36:30; 20 O Manning (Unattached) 36:43.
21 S Williams (Stowmarket) 37:01; 22 N Hardwick (Un) 37:06; 23 M Bennett (JAFFA) 37:18; 24 M Ford-Thomas (Saxmundham) 37:21; 25 B Jacobs (Felixstowe RR) 37:33; 26 D Solomon (Felixstowe RR) 37:41; 27 O Watson (JAFFA) 37:45; 28 S Mason (Haverhill RC) 37:53; 29 K Marley (Col/Harr) 37:56; 30 A Smy (Fram/Flyers) 38:01.
31 J Duffney (JAFFA) 38:05; 32 C Mower (Pacers) 38:11; 33 J Thompson (Ipswich Harriers) 38:17; 34 P Fenn (Un) 38:24; 35 T Larke (Stowmarket) 38:28; 36 T Ballard (Great Bentley RC) 38:30; 37 M Payne 38:32; 38 S Brooke (Felixstowe RR) 38:33; 39 G Taylor (Felixstowe RR) 38:38; 40 M Allen (JAFFA) 38:51.
Top 20 ladies: 1 H Davies (JAFFA) 33:51 2 L Thomas (JAFFA) 36:54; 3 A Goodwin (Ips/Harr) 39:22; 4 K Parnell 39:45; 5 H Pettersson (Ips/Harr) 39:55; 6 G Humphreys (JAFFA) 40:47; 7 E Attwood (Stowmarket) 41:32; 8 N Lambert-John (Coltishall Jaguars) 41:42; 9 R Fish (Un) 43:08; 10 V Jennings (JAFFA) 44:15.
11 K King (Pacers) 44:16; 12 B McCorquodale (Harwich Runners) 44:24; 13 C Dann (Pacers) 44:31; 14 E Cumner (Col/Harr) 45:29; 15 S Gartshore 45:32; 16 H Taylor (Felixstowe RR) 45:44; 17 D Brooke (JAFFA) 45:52; 18 M Lewis (Harwich) 46:04; 19 L Baker 46:09; 20 L Wallace 46:15.
Male veterans, over-40: 1 Last, 2 Marter, 3 Hardwick. Over-45: 1 Baker, 2 Howlett, 3 Larke. Over-50: 1 Solomon, 2 Marley, 3 Brooke. Over-55: 1 S Langley (Eastern Masters) 38:52; 2 S Hicks (Ips/Harr) 41:10. Over-60: 1 A Jackson (JAFFA) 42:35; 2 G Raynor (Col/Harr) 45:26. Over-65: 1 M Cattermole 47:21. Over-70: 1 K Stowe 58:46.
Female veterans, over-40: 1 Lewis, 2 R Hamblyn (JAFFA) 46:35. Over-45: 1 McCorquodale, 2 K Branton (Felixstowe RR) 46:40. Over-50: 1 M Ward (Hadleigh) 49:18; 2 K Oxford (Hadleigh Hares) 50:10; 3 H Yellop (Capel Cheetahs) 50:19. Over-55: 1 Jennings; 2 V Haynes (Running Colchester) 57:48. Over-60: 1 S Downes 56:17; 2 E Frost 59:09. Over-65: 1 B-A Jousiffe 56:36; 2 A Clarke (Gt Bentley) 63:53. Over-70: D Thomson 57:10.