Canterbury 10 Race Report 2024
Cole Gibbens and Chelsea Baker both successfully defend their titles at the 2024 ParkerSteel
Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race. The sell-out 2024 ParkerSteel Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race was run in dry but breezy conditions on Sunday 21st January. A revised course was in place due to bridge
repairs at Patrixbourne, where there were also road closures due to flooding. The organisers, Canterbury based Invicta East Kent Athletics Club were pleased to see 1400 entries with runners travelling from all over the UK to take part. The winners of both the men’s and ladies’ races successfully defended the titles that they won in 2023.
Popular local athlete Cole Gibbens ran 53min 31 sec to take the win in a race that for a long period featured a leading group of 5 runners. Finally, at the 6-mile point Gibbens managed to open a gap at the front which he maintained until the finish. Runner-up for the second year running was super-vet Barry Stephenson from Dartford Road Runners who finished just 10 seconds down in 53min 41sec. He was closely followed home by Petts Wood runner Oliver Knowles who set a big personal best of 53min 52sec in finishing third. Just missing out on a podium finish in fourth place was Dan Bradley from Tonbridge AC in 53min 56sec.
The ladies’ race was a rematch of last year’s top three, plus former three times winner Helen Gaunt. An outstanding performance from Bristol & West AC athlete Chelsea Baker, secured victory again in the excellent time of 58min 10 sec. Second place went to Grace Baker again (no relation) from Hastings AC who stayed close and set a big personal best of 58min 24sec. Imogen Amos, (Tonbridge AC) completed the top three in 61min 40sec. Helen Gaunt was 4th and won the V35 prize.
There was a good atmosphere and a real buzz about the race from the start of registrations until the finish of the final few runners. The runners were urged on by family, friends and local residents who lined the route. The race was aided by new sponsors, local company ParkerSteel, who had a team of runners taking part and who hope to continue their sponsorship in future years. The sub sponsor, repeating previous support, was Canterbury based sports shop “The Running Outlet”.
Canterbury Christ Church University once again generously provided their excellent Sports Centre as race HQ, plus a team of physiotherapy students who provided a much appreciated massage service.
The Event Charity for the third year was Kent based Demelza Hospice Care for Children. They helped the event with the provision of marshals and received a donation from organiser.
There were various other age group winners as follows:
Men V40 Anthony Webb (Medway & Maidstone AC) 55min 04sec
Men V50 Kev Howarth (Petts Wood Runners) 59min 16sec
Men V60 Torben Jessen (Folkestone AC) 65min 22sec
Men V70 John Tolhurst (Paddock Wood AC) 76min 37sec
Ladies V45 Emma Stevens (Petts Wood Runners) 67min 38sec
Ladies V55 Susan Dixon (Cambridge Harriers) 72min 13sec
Ladies V65 Barbara Wenman (Canterbury Harriers) 75min 55sec
In the Men’s Team race, Petts Wood Runners (Oliver Knowles, Greg Dunning, Kev Howarth and Adam Wilkinson) managed to win what was a very close contest with Thanet Roadrunners AC second and Canterbury Harriers third. In the Ladies’ Team race, Tonbridge AC were out in force with their top three (Imogen Amos, Helen Gaunt and Nichola Evans) allowing them the victory ahead of Petts Wood Runners with Canterbury Harriers coming in third.
Race Director Glenn Mousley said: “A very competitive race and numbers back to where we want them. We are really pleased with the race this year and how things worked out with the revised course. There was a great energy around race HQ and in the race itself, with positivity all around. A good turn out from both club runners and those not affiliated gave a real feeling of inclusiveness. We also welcomed a number of blind and deaf runners. I would like to thank all of the runners for participating and also to our sponsors. We are very grateful to the many volunteers and organisers who give up their time, including early on a Sunday morning to work on the race. We hope to be back next January.”