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Course Records Smashed at National Forest 10k

Monday, 19th September 2011

Both the men’s and ladies’ course records were smashed this weekend in the National Forest 10K that took place on Sunday 18 September on the trails around Conkers at the Heart of the National Forest.

Tim Hartley from West Leake Challengers came first place in 34 minutes, 3 seconds compared to the 2010 male course record of 36:07.  South Derbyshire Road Runner Louise Insley ran the course in 40 minutes, 53 seconds to win the ladies 1stplace spot for a second year running and beating her own course record time of 41:35.  Both won the £100 prize plus the course record prize of £25.

Winning the 2ndplace prize of annual membership to Conkers, kindly donated by this award-winning attraction, was Alex Benfield of Burton Athletics Club (36:46) and Laura Johnson (43:06) of Ivanhoe Runners.  3rdplace runners who won a ‘Plant a Tree’ prize in The National Forest were Shaun Coulton (37:27) of Hermitage Harriers and Abby Halcarz (43:16).

Winners of the veteran age categories (male 40, 50 and 60 and female 35, 45 and 55) received beautiful hand-crafted commemorative jigsaws donated by expert woodcraftsman, Mel Dowding from Dallowlock Crafts in Burton upon Trent.  These were Mark Frost, Philip Piper, Peter Devlin, Heather Thornton, Dawn Storer and Lynda Revill.

The new team prize awarded to the first four runners from any team went to Hermitage Harriers who won a short break in one of Rosliston Forestry Centre’s luxurious timber lodges for up to six people. The break includes four night’s accommodation in a beautiful self-catering timber lodge tucked away in young woodland at the heart of The National Forest.  Set within the 154-acre woodland site of Rosliston Forestry Centre, the trails, cycle hire and other activities make it a fantastic training venue for teams.  For more information on the Forest Lodges visit the website

A full list of results is available through the website and a fully tagged image gallery is now online through the official photographer 'Runner Photos'

Following the welcome by National Forest Company Chief Executive, Sophie Churchill, England athlete and local runner, Gemma steel, presented the prizes.

Sophie said: ‘For the second year running we had an amazing turnout with ideal weather. Both the fun run and the main race were entered by everyone, from novices to experienced club athletes. It is very exciting to see the speed of the top runners on this off-road course, but I must admit my claps got louder as the last competitors sprinted to the finishing line, many of them running this distance for the first time. It’s wonderful seeing The National Forest now providing such a great venue for an event like this and I thank all the volunteers who made it happen’.

As well as the 10K race there was also a Family Fun Run using the wooded trails at Conkers with Forest Dwellers, Moira Fox and Ernest Badger, setting the pace around the mile-long course.  Winners were:

  • Boys: 1st- Thomas Benfield, 2nd- Jack Holmes, 3rd- Fred Holmes
  • Girls: 1st- Jasmine Kiffin, 2nd- Isobelle Armstrong, 3rd- Sophie Cantrill

They received gold, silver or bronze medals and all fun runners received a goody bag and free entry to Conkers for the day.

There were spot prizes from Burton upon Trent-based running shop, Running Form given away, as well as from Champneys Springs.  Champneys kindly donated three vouchers for a ‘Relax Day’ – perfect for post-run relaxation.  The ‘Relax Day’ includes use of all facilities including 25m pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, state of the art gymnasium, up to 20 fitness classes per day and a delicious lunch.

For more information, the full list of results and the link to the official photos visit the National Forest Company website

The event was organised by members of the local running clubs Ivanhoe Runners, South Derbyshire Road Runners and Hermitage Harriers, in partnership with National Forest Company, South Derbyshire District Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and Conkers

The running clubs welcome new members of all abilities.  Visit their websites for details on joining.