New course sees record numbers finish Matthew Walker 10k


Wet conditions weren’t enough to dampen the spirits as a record number of finishers embraced the brand new course for the twenty-eighth running of the Matthew Walker 10k.

With the Heanor Running Club-hosted event completely selling out its 1000 entry limit a week before the day, 884 finishers were led home by Rich Weir and Lisa Palmer as the pair repeated their victories from twelve months ago to take home the prize money and generous hampers.

Charities and clubs were well-represented and the Christmas puddings awaiting all finishers returned to the participant-pleasing proportions of previous years – special thanks go to Matthew Walker for their continued support of the event.

The undulating course, held almost-entirely within Shipley Country Park, saw a competitive race at the front-end between the pre-race favourites Rich Weir, former two-time winner Neil Renault and GB international, Luke Gunn.

Weir and Renault went toe-to-toe at the front and forced the pace as Gunn lurked in third, thirty metres further back. Renault, who set the old course record of 30:44 in victory in 2008, gained a stride or two through halfway but was unable to drop the recently-wedded Derby AC man.

Shifting up a gear as they approached Osbourne’s Pond with two kilometres to run, Weir forged ahead and established a clear advantage. The advantage turned out to be a winning one as the thirty year-old crossed the line seven seconds clear in 31:11.

Renault (31:18) took second as June’s Ramathon winner, Gunn (31:25), finished seven seconds further back. Shelton Striders took home the team prize.

Fresh from representing England at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Wollaton Park twenty-four hours before, Heanor RC’s Lisa Palmer took the tape almost a minute ahead of her nearest challenger in 36:44.

Chesterfield AC’s Lauren Davies-Beckett (37:38) and Rachel Olivant (38:42) of Derby AC, who narrowly edged-out teammate Natalie Weir (38:45), completed the top-3 as Derby AC went home with the team prize.

In addition to Matthew Walker, thanks also go to all the marshals, volunteers and runners that helped make the event a success and to Shipley Country Park, John Thompson, Rob Jefferies and Derby Runner, the Heanor Gate Science College steel band and East Midlands Physiotherapy Training College for the complimentary pre- and post-race massage.

Full results HERE

Category results HERE

Female team results HERE

Male team results HERE