Cinder Path 10k – 28 October 2012, Sutton Park

Mark Cooper reports: Despite the previous day being the coldest of the year so far and with the promise of rainfall throughout the morning, 3 fearless Harriers (myself, Lesley Pymm and Becky Lesniak) decided to brave the elements and take part in the Cinder Path 10k at Sutton Park.

Actually, braving the elements was not the biggest risk on the day, as competitors arriving at Sutton Park were greeted by a number of signs reminding them of the recent e-coli outbreak and the ongoing risk of infection.

This probably contributed to the fewer entries this year, with 197 completing the course on Sunday as against 274 in 2011, although the recent rains, the opportunity to jump over fallen trees and plough through very muddy woodland trails might have put off all but the hardened runners out there!

It’s quite a tough course, with Sutton Park being more undulating than you realise once you start running through it, and with some parts very similar to a quite challenging cross country course.

There are a couple of nice surprises along the way – at approx 5k there is a quite sharp turn and a very tough, steep (albeit short) climb that catches many unawares, but the best is saved to the last – when you appear from woodland to be greeted by another steep hill to the finish line, which gives you an opportunity to really test your sprint finish over the last 100 metres!

Despite being a regular visitor to Sutton park, I learned that it was Lesley’s first time competing in the Cinder Path run, and a special mention to Becky, who after joining the club through the Beginners Group earlier this year, has now completed this race and her very first half marathon in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago – well done Becky!

The race is well organised with well positioned and very supportive marshalls throughout the course and plenty of spectators to give a warm welcome to everyone sprinting up that final hill! The race was won in a time of 34:32, with Lesley in 128th place in 56:09, Becky in 164th out of 197 in 1:01:12. As for me – 66th position in 48:40 was an improvement of 22 places and 49 seconds on last year, so going in the right direction!

The course has a little bit of everything, so I would recommend it to anyone fancying a pre-cross country or a post-marathon/half-marathon workout, although every year I do keep saying “that was tough, not doing that one again!”…

7 Replies to “Cinder Path 10k – 28 October 2012, Sutton Park”

  1. Thanks guys. I can definitely recommend this race, as long as you don’t mind being ankle deep in mud at points and hurdling fallen trees… it’s great fun though! A huge thanks to Mark and Lesley for their cheers to get me up that last hill!

  2. Well done to all three of you. That sounds a great run to race 🙂

  3. Thankyou Mark for your Cinder Path 10k Race Report.Congratulations to you all on successfully completing what was clearly a tough course.I hope you will all give the XC a go this coming season.
    `When the going gets tough,the tough get going!`
    Barrie Roberts

  4. I’ve done this race before, and yes it is indeed a challenging course – certainly a good tune up for the XC season! Well done all, especially first timer Becky. There’s a similar race in Spring called the 7 pools which is good too.

  5. Well done,this sounds like a tough 10k and a hill to finish hard work.Well done Becky on your first 10k.Well done mark and lesley too 🙂

  6. Well done all! Doesn’t sound like the easiest introduction to 10K 😉

  7. Thanks for the report Mark. Well done to both of you – but especially Becky on her first 10k. Becky, didn’t anyone tell you that most people do a 10k on their way to running a 1/2? Not you though – you’ve just done it as a recovery run after a 1/2M. Brilliant.