Hosted by Hyde Park Harriers the Summer mile is race number 10 in Eccleshill’s Summer championships. This annual race now in it’s 11th year, as the name suggests, is a one mile race on tarmac paths in Woodhouse Moor (aka Hyde Park). This year’s junior fun run and race walk, usually a big part of the event, were unfortunately cancelled. The fun and excitement was still apparent as heats 1 to 13 accelerated. The atmosphere was buzzing with rumours of at least four contenders for last year’s course record of 00:04:29 in heat 13. There is a generous prize list and in addition clubs are awarded trophies.
As usual this was a fabulous, well organised event. Friendly marshals shouting words of encouragement guide runners around the two lap course. Just about the most popular mid summer race on the local calendar, this one attracts runners from all around the area. The unique concept is on entering the race participants state their predicted finish time and are then placed in the appropriate heat with others of a similar pace. This race provides runners with a rare opportunity to challenge themselves to run a mile as fast as they can against the clock. The atmosphere is always electric as all the heats intensify as the predicted times become faster. All participants sprint for the finish line to the deafening cheers and applause of the excited onlookers. The timing clock is visible along the finishing straight, ticking down as runners strive to put in that final push to shave milliseconds off their final time. Perfect conditions provided an excellent opportunity for a personal best at this distance and most certainly will have aided two challengers in breaking the course record by shaving 4 seconds off it and adding to the excitement of the evening. Eccleshill had 11 runners earning a superb goodie bag of a medal, chocolate, beer and sweets. Finishing in their respective heats were: Daniel Jenkins 06:16, Marc Steele 06:16, Garry Ellison 06:43, Alex Spragg 07:17, Sophie May 07:22, Claire Tailford 07:29, Gemma Illingworth 07:39, Vicky Cousins 07:56, Sarah Rawlings 07:56, Linda Bussey 08:00 & Julie Steele 08:22 Well done Team and big thanks to our support crew holding the (much needed) water!!