Winchester 10k race could be wettest yet

Hampshire Chronicle: Eventual winner Alex Dunbar (771) leads last year’s race. Eventual winner Alex Dunbar (771) leads last year’s race.

THIS year's Winchester 10k race is set to be the wettest in history, after the organisers gave the event go ahead.

Horrendous weather that has battered Hampshire in the past few weeks has seen countless sports events postponed.

But somehow this one has defied all odds.

The relatively good drainage at North Walls Recreation Ground, where the run starts on Sunday, has meant that Fiona Hoggarth, the operations manager at Concept Sport, could give the green light.

She said: “It will certainly be the wettest ever run but it will go ahead and I’m impressed how well the park has coped with the downpour.

“We had numerous site visits and a course assessment will take place on Saturday and and alternative course may be in place taking into account the current flood closures.”

A different route could be established to avoid a flood on Springvale Road but a decision is still yet to be made about that, with the local council due to be contacted regarding the issue. Five hundred competitors have already entered and it is expected there will be 150 more that turn up on the day – still down on the 800 that ran last year.

The course travels around Winchester City’s ground on Hillier Way before continuing along Worthy Road, Well House Road – and then a long straight along Andover Road. Last year Alex Dunbar from Norwich claimed top prize with a 31 minutes 56 seconds run. Local runners Owen Hind (33.19) and Tom Stevens (33.53) of Eastleigh Running Club finished third and fifth respectively with Winchester & District’s Phillip Bernsten (34.47) in sixth.

Winchester’s Natalie Cain was the top ranked female athlete in fourth after her 40 minutes 51 seconds run in freezing conditions. Up to date information will be accessible on conceptsport.co.uk and entries will be accepted on the day at River Park Leisure Centre from 8.30am to 10.20am.

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