South Park 10 is a 10 mile race organised by local club Darlington Harriers. It consists of 10 equal laps of South Park, home of Darlington’s parkrun course. The course is a slight variation on a parkrun lap, but essentially it’s just a shortened version.
Despite a poor weekend forecast, the weather was thankfully kind for the duration of the race with hazy sunshine and a slight breeze despite damp, slippery conditions underfoot.
The race could be run individually or as a 2 person relay with each person completing 5 miles. There was to be a total of 72 individual runners to complete the race with an additional 2 relay teams also finishing.
A number of runners were incorporating this race into their marathon training. A few running other routes beforehand to add distance to the 10 miles and someone even opted to complete a further 10 torturous laps at the end!
Those used to running parkrun here will be used to the congested narrow paths as they battle against 300+ people for position. Not a problem today, with reduced numbers of 74. Even lower than the 2016 event where there were 108 finishers.
I intended this race to be a warmup for The Yorkshire 10 in York on 8th October, just to plan my pacing and see where I was at. My PB was set here last year in 1:15.18 and that was one of just two 10 Mile races I’ve ever done, the other being a much hillier course in the Lake District (1:16.30).
I started off steadily as it’d been a while since I’d done this distance and the first mile was a 7:47 as I settled into a rhythm. Looking back at my lap times they were very steady after that, 7:38, 7:34, 7:34, 7:39, 7:30, 7:38, 7:39, 7:38 and a last 0.7m at 7:00 pace to finish. I felt pretty good until around 8 miles as I started to feel my hamstring and back begin to tire, but overall I was very pleased with the run especially after 8 miles the previous day.
The course always measures short during parkrun and like last years race, this measured short at 9.7 miles exactly. Lots of trees and narrow paths seem to throw off GPS tracking but I’m assured it’s UKA approved and measured to 10 miles which means I’ve finally beaten a PB this season! I finished in 1:13.23 to knock 1:55 off last years time.
This is a great smaller field race. Ideal for those training for Autumn Half Marathons and costs between £13-£16 featuring a tech T-Shirt on finishing. A water station is available each lap and you’re welcome to put your own drinks or gels there. It’s a well supported event with plenty of marshalls on course and ideal if you fancy a 10 Mile PB in the North East of England!