Anticipation had been gathering over the last 12 months for Stockport 10K 2017. At last year’s event, over 50 Vegan Runners had competed with Soy Division taking the team prize. Could this year be even better?
Due to the immense hard work of Kevin Dempsey, Sophie Black and Jonna McFadden, interest from all over the country stimulated and at one point, it appeared over 170 VR’s could be descending on Stockport town centre on September 18th.
On the day, 160 vegan runners manifested out of the damp, grey atmosphere, filling the streets with green and black plus the odd flash of florescent yellow, still an incredible turn out. Old friendships rekindled, new friendships made prior to the race while we assembled for the most epic of team pictures over at Mersey Square.
Just assembling everyone for the photo and handing out competitor race numbers required military precision and an excellent job completed by the organisers with support from the team captains.
Photo sorted, race numbers handed out and it’s over to the start, the buzz of anticipation running through every runner a joy to behold as the clouds start to break and hint of sun breaks through on St Petersgate.
As the countdown is completed and the race begins, every second it seemed, a vegan runner loomed into view, as wave after wave passed. There's an enormous camaraderie around this club, support and encouragement evident for runners of all abilities. This arose before and after, but perhaps most evident during. Each and everyone encouraged any club member in sight. On the sections where Runners passed parallel, hi fives became the greeting of choice. Being part of such a celebratory event surely made Stockport the collective highlight of the year.
After just over 34 minutes from the start, Alex Hinchcliffe of Soy Division took race victory, closely followed by team mate Simon Dally. Vegan Runners 1st and 2nd in the male race.
Past the 40 minute mark, Ali Guihen appeared up the hill and into the final straight, Vegan Runner 1st in the female race. If that wasn’t enough, hot on her heels, Julie Oswald finished as second female and once again Soy Division took team glory. This year made up of Alex, Simon, Bob Neil, Jasper McDowell and Kevin Dempsey who stepped in as a last minute replacement to assist Vegan Runners domination of the podium.
Along with the winners, there were many great performances throughout the club, PB’s beaten left, right and centre but special mention must go to Tom McFadden and Anthony Chester who unselfishly acted as tail runners so no one in the field felt their efforts diminished by finishing last. Vegans, compassionate and caring right up to the end.
Organised by Life Leisure, the Stockport 10K is agreat event, very well planned with friendly marshals around the course encouraging all. The timing and length of the run in the season hopefully making it inclusive to all.
Over 200 Vegan Runners at Stockport 10K 2018??