On Sunday 2nd July I took part in the annual “Sting in the Tail” 10k race in Caistor, North Lincolnshire, which is about 70 miles north on the A46 from here. I spent my school days in Caistor, so it’s good to get back occasionally and repeat some of my steps from yesteryear around some of the old school running routes.
The event is hosted by Caistor Running Club, and the organisation is first class, with ample parking at the school, spacious registration base at the Town Hall, a market place bustling with pre and post race activities, and a well marshalled race with lots of prizes on offer. There are almost 500 runners of all abilities, many in fancy dress around this year’s Mardis Gras theme, with plenty of whistles being blown on the way round.
The course is one of the more varied 10k routes, comprising a very fast downhill road start down from the town’s Georgian market square. It then levels off for about 3 miles, including a pleasant off road stretch on a track through some woods, which offered some welcome relief from the sun. Once out of the woods, the gradual climb back towards the town begins, which after the 8k point becomes quite brutal, with a couple of very sharp climbs which provide the sting to the tail of this race, up to the finishing line in the market square.
I was pleased with my own time of 40.22, which was almost 5 minutes less than I managed in 2016, and was enough to secure 20th place overall. Congratulations to the winner, local Nick Martin of Caistor Running Club, who with a time of 32.52 broke the course record and netted himself a cash prize of £200!
At the end of the race you receive a very good quality running vest, and there is a barbecue and bar conveniently located just after the finishing line. All in all a very good experience and great value at only £12 for club runners. Certainly a race I’d recommend bookmarking to any Striders who’d like to try this event – there’ll be a couple of spaces in my car next year!