A run to remember: All the action as Rotherham 10k unites runners for a worthy cause

THE sun shone, the crowds came and runners clocked some “excellent” times as Rotherham 10k made a splash in the springtime.

The borough’s biggest running race, which attracts club runners, joggers and sporty kids, took over Clifton Park and the town centre once again on Sunday.

More than 400 people took on the 10k route through the town centre, Canklow, Broom and Clifton, raising a healthy sum for Age UK Rotherham in entry fees, while a similar number completed the children’s schools challenge.

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Delighted Age UK ambassador and multi-marathon runner Ray Matthews said: “I’ve had a lot of great comments that it was a brilliant day.

“It was hot, but to be honest, I prefer it like that — it’s probably why I have raced in deserts.

“We had ladies from Morrisons and Tesco handing out water and the McDonald’s team were on hand to hand out paper cups, create a sort-of funnel in town centre create a real brilliant atmosphere by clapping and cheering all the runners.”

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Ray had spoken before the race of his wish to create a “festival” feel around the event and said the atmosphere at Clifton Park in particular had been great, with particular praise going to Rotherham Radio DJ Stewart Nicholson for calling out runners’ names and encouraging the crowds to cheer them on.

The first man home was Dronfield Running Club’s Tom Shaw, who finished in 32m 59s, while Rotherham Harrier Natasha Hatswell was the first woman home in 38m 55s.

The schools challenge was won by Our Lady & St Joseph’s, from which four students finished in the top 17, while Rotherham United Community Sports Trust took the corporate challenge title with their overall fastest finishing time of 3hr 28m 15s.

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Age UK Rotherham’s chief executive, Barbara Dinsdale, was attending her first Rotherham 10k and had the honour of handing out the medals.

“It was fantastic, a great event all round,” she said.

“It was lovely weather for the spectators but obviously a bit hot for the runners, although they did a magnificent job.”

Barbara said the family-friendly feel of the event had been enhanced by Rotherham United Community Sports Trust running their penalty challenge and stalls being operated by charities and sponsors.

“It was very community-focussed,” she said.

“Clifton Park is an excellent location, it’s so user friendly, and everyone pulled out all the stops.

“I don’t think it could have gone much better.

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“There were plenty of professional standard and club runners but also a lot of others, members of the public of all ages.”

Barbara’s own mission to run 10km was cut short by injury but she said she hoped to give it a go next year.

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