WACer wins the Wimborne 10 – 17 November 2013
tradition … I wish! Ian Kennedy reports.
on the start line, with eyes only for the road.
forgive the personal nature of this account; the 16th staging
of the Wimborne 10 will live long in the memory in the Kennedy
first time I ran for WAC was in the 1999 Wimborne 10. This was after
going through the ‘Big Gap’, where you run as a kid, and then wait too
late to start running again as an adult. It wasn’t until late 1997 that
I started to take road running seriously. When it finally happened, it
was sparked by a moment of impulsiveness; I entered the 1998 London
Marathon via the ballot, having convinced myself that I’d never get in
anyway. The significance of the marathon that year was that it was a few
weeks after my 40th birthday. It was just one of those
bucket-list things, something to tick off the list … it wasn’t supposed
to turn into an obsession!
time, I was the only runner in our house – neither Wendy or our kids,
Jessica and Callum, ran (although the kids had the excuse of being only
five- and two-years old!). I then ran in the next three Wimborne 10s,
with my best time coming in 2000 – 65:28. Anyone looking for bloodstock
for a potential race winner wouldn’t have given me a second glance!
Subsequently I got involved in helping out each year, although I did run
again in 2004 and 2012. By this time, both Wendy and Callum were also
running (their first W10s in 2004 and 2011 respectively).
soon after I joined the club, I ran for the cross-country team and
within a year or two I was the team manager. I then began working with
the junior XC runners. It all started on a small scale, just one
Saturday session a month. Once Callum was old enough to come along too,
I was able to make it weekly - these days it’s three times a week.
Initially, Callum didn’t set the world on fire – in his first XC
under-11 race in 2005 he came 42nd. I don’t remember if he
ever came last, but there were some close calls! He’d finished the
2008/2009 Wessex XC season coming ninth out of 11 in the final race.
However, at the 2009/2010 season-opener at King’s Park, he bagged second
place. He’s been making progress ever since. His strength has been
endurance rather than outright pace. The athletics track can be rather
more intimidating than a cross-country race, and it was around this time
that Callum started to embrace the track fully. It certainly helped him
to go faster.
tried to steer him away from doing too many road races at too young an
age, but the pull of his home club’s race was too big to resist, and in
2011 he entered the Wimborne 10. I was nervous – he wasn’t even doing 10
mile training runs. He went to the Weymouth 10 in order to gauge what a
10 mile race felt like and use that experience a month later. His time
at Weymouth (60:36) suggested that this distance might suit him.
2011 Wimborne 10, Callum finished ninth overall with a time of 59:36. He
was also first under-17 and under-20 on the day. In February 2012,
Callum entered the Lytchett 10 County Championship race. He had a fine
run, crossing the line in third place with a new PB of 58:51. This race
saw him ranked at year-end No. 4 in the UK in the under-17 age group.
Callum was the 2012 Dorset Men’s County Champion for 10 miles as the two
guys ahead of him were both resident outside of Dorset.
Callum He had taken to 10 mile races
like a duck to water, despite the fact that his training remained geared
up to racing 10k or less. In November 2012, it was time for the Wimborne
10 again. His time – 59:01 – earned him eighth place.
2013, Callum was running well. He’d become the club record holder for
5000m, and the South-West England under-20 5000m Champion. Having moved
to Winchester for university, Callum ran in four of the Parkruns there
and won them all. By now, Callum was using a Garmin and taking advice
from coach Bob Smith. The planned overall target pace for the W10 would
be 5:40 per min./mile.
race day the Kennedy family were all there. While Callum stood on the
start line, Wendy, Jess and me (marshalling duties completed) went off
to the sharp turn 400m into the race. First to the corner was Callum.
The three of us then had a nervous wait at Pamphill, while the race
had close company in the early stages, but edged away on the climb
between Miles 3 and 4. A little later, Nicki Roe of Poole Runners came
over to me with her mobile phone. She asked me, ‘Do you want to know?’ I
did. The report was that Callum had a 50 second lead at Mile 7. We had
fingers crossed that he would still be leading a further three miles
down the road.
near the finish gantry. Eventually, the halogen light of Jerry on the
lead bike appeared. We strained our eyes to see what colour the lead
shirt was – RED! Callum had continued to build a lead and was now over a
minute ahead of Peter Rowant, the second-placed man. The target time had
been 5:40 min./miles, Callum actually ran just over 5:41. His official
time of 56:52 sees him ranked No. 5 under-20 in the UK for 10 miles.
right foreground, captures the moment Callum crosses the line.
Callum has become the youngest ever winner of the Wimborne 10. He’s also
the first Wimborne AC winner in the race’s 16-year history. Hopefully we
won’t have to wait quite so long for the next one. It’s possible that
the next WAC W10 winner, male or female, could come from the WAC
Endurance training group that Callum trained with right up until leaving
for university, although I will be encouraging our young stars to
concentrate on speed before distance.
has become a way of life in our household. The following weekend Wendy
was due to run in the Boscombe 10k, the last DRRL league race of the
year and secure another fidelity award (her eighth) for competing in all
of the 2013 Dorset Road League races. She’d picked up an injury and her
physio’s advice was don’t run. At the end of the 10K, somewhat
awkwardly, the same physio was on hand to give her a post-race massage.
Even Jess hasn’t remained immune… she now runs twice a week, once with
Wendy, and once with me. Ultimately she’s got a Parkrun on her radar –
maybe a W10 too?