Knavesmire 10k 2023: Howe and Rawes racing towards title glory as series enters final furlong

Jordan Howe took a giant leap towards retaining his York & District Road Race League crown with victory on the Knavesmire as Josie Rawes clinched her own second win to assume pole position in the race for the ladies’ title.

York Postal Harriers champion Howe shaved two seconds off his winning time from Easingwold to clock 32:07 and become the first senior male to bag two wins this summer – another triumph at Bugthorpe on June 20 will all but certainly confirm his coronation.

Howe launched into the three-lap contest on York Racecourse’s flat-and-fast access road at a blistering pace and, despite enduring a slight fade across the last two miles, he turned the jets back on for the final push and duly set a new benchmark for the 2023 competition.

James Eaton was again a thorn in Howe’s side as he led a strong Tadcaster Harriers squad with 32:39 for second, with team-mate and early pacesetter Joe Firth (33:06) completing the podium. Kieron Brown (33:12) boosted hosts York Acorn Running Club while Shane Grace (33:16) excelled from the veteran 40 men’s category with 33:16 and Dom Carter took 33:20 for Postal.

Absent from the men’s top six were any York Knavesmire Harriers – but it was a different story in the women’s competition as Rawes topped a remarkable 1-2-3 for the club. Following up her curtain-raising success at Tadcaster, Rawes demolished her previous personal best 10k time, improving by 35 seconds to romp home in 36:15, over a minute clear of fellow Harrier Emily Baines (37:18) and vet 45 ladies star Hazel Hall (39:16).

Pocklington Runners’ Katie Wise (39:35), Emma Winter of Selby Striders (40:05) and Pickering Running Club’s Kelly Gaughan (41:33) rounded out the top six.

Knavesmire’s dominance here rubber-stamped their grip on the ladies’ team challenge, with the prize now in hand after a display that saw four representatives pack the top seven. Postal and Pocklington will take their intriguing tussle for silver into the concluding races.

Tadcaster had four men in the top eight – all finishing in under 36 minutes – to match Knavesmire’s record of two team race wins and so the battle goes on.

Eaton went back-to-back in his bid for vet 40 men’s glory, with Grace and Acorn’s Christopher Poulton (34:58) hot on his heels. Knavesmire’s Dave Smithers is the vet 50 men’s champion after clocking 34:53 for an unassailable fourth win from four races despite strong challenges from Pocklington pair Richard Ginn (35:34) and Stephen Maddison (36:04).

Easingwold Running Club’s Stephan Tomaszewski went 4-0 to seal the vet 60 men’s championship with 39:13, leaving behind his rivals Mike Jackson of Tadcaster (40:39) and City of York AC’s David Lancaster (42:14).

Michael Hetherton has been untouchable in the vet 70 men’s event and finally got his hands on the trophy with 48:19 to see off Tadcaster duo William Allen (49:34) and Mark Thompson (50:28).

Wise smashed her Knavesmire PB with 39:35 to take the vet 35 ladies’ win in a fascinating category, with Winter and YKH’s Natalie Greaves (42:13) also staking claims. Hall was yet again given a stern examination by Joanna Millican (43:56) of Tadcaster and Knavesmire’s Bethany Benger (44:14) but there was no denying her the vet 45 ladies’ crown after 39:16 booked a fourth straight win.

City’s Karen Wood is the vet 55 ladies’ victor after signing for 44:24 to dominate Joanne Derry (45:41) and Knavesmire’s Anita Ruddock (46:48). In the vet 65 ladies’ competition, Kathryn Dickinson has one hand on the cup thanks to a 44:56 that was 10 minutes faster than her second-placed Knavesmire team-mate Mary Farmery’s time of 55:55, with Sally-Anne Lardner (57:04) placing third for Easingwold.