Picture special: Gainsborough and Morton 10k Race

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RUNNERS turned out in their hundreds for the first ever Gainsborough and Morton 10k race, and wet weather did nothing to dampen their spirits.

Athletes came from as far away as London, Liverpool and Middlesborough to pound the streets in the event, organised by Gainsborough and Morton Striders running club.

A number of runners even brought home personal best times despite the worsening conditions during the race.

“It was our first attempt hosting a 10k race so to have 500 runners signed up and a full race sheet two weeks before the event was brilliant,” said race director Kevin Housham.

“There were some really good running clubs represented as well, including 41 Morton Striders and around 60 other local runners.”

Of the first 50 RunBritain registered athletes across the finish line, 33 delivered personal bests.

The fast and flat, traffic-free course helped with that, and is sure to enhance the race’s reputation for those seeking fast times in future.

The 10k course started on Walkerith Road in Morton, passing through the picturesque countryside and the villages of East Stockwith and Walkerith.

Kevin said: “Seeing people crossing the finish line was brilliant and the support from the local community was fantastic.”

“Loads of people lined the race route and cheered – which was especially important in the rain.”

“It was a community effort on behalf of Gainsborough and Morton, and we hope to be back next year bigger and better.”

Sleaford Town Runners’ Iain Bailey was the first man to cross the line with a time of 33:26.

Rotherham Harrier Jenny Blizard came first out of the women competitors with 37:41, putting her 60th on the national ladder.

First Junior was East Hull Harriers’ Alec Gibson who achieved a personal best of 35:24 and took home the junior cup.

The team trophy – given to the club with the first four finishers of either gender – was won by Scunthorpe and District AC, who had three runners in the top 15.

Full results available via RunBritain or www.racetimingsystems.com