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Knavesmire 10k 2024: Mason gallops to glory as Ford throws down title gauntlet

Charlotte Mason clinched the 2024 York and District Road Race League title with a fourth straight victory as Alex Ford announced himself in the men’s battle with a stunning personal best on the Knavesmire. City of York AC’s Mason reclaimed the crown she last won in 2022 with a scintillating course-best 35:40 as 10k PBs,…

Charlotte Mason clinched the 2024 York and District Road Race League title with a fourth straight victory as Alex Ford announced himself in the men’s battle with a stunning personal best on the Knavesmire.

City of York AC’s Mason reclaimed the crown she last won in 2022 with a scintillating course-best 35:40 as 10k PBs, CBs and season’s bests tumbled like confetti on a perfect night for racing on the service track at York Racecourse.

Rose Mather of York Knavesmire Harriers was almost 90 seconds behind Mason after taking 37:08 to complete three and a half laps of a route providing no real physical obstacles but instead plenty of mental strain. Luckily for the 394 finishers, the threat of rain did not materialise and the evening sun shone through light winds to create ideal conditions for running fast times.

Hannah Morrison completed the ladies’ podium with 38:04 for Knavesmire, with team-mate Kate Thompson (38:25), Pickering Running Club’s Kelly Richmond (39:03) and Georgia Hird of Pocklington Runners (39:11) packing out a competitive top six.

Vale of York Athletic Community’s Ford was untouchable in his first league triumph as he outpaced colleague Thomas Fell (32:56) by over a minute to PB with an exceptional 31:52.

Second in the season opener at Tadcaster and a previous winner of 10k races in London and Colchester, Ford has now thrown down the gauntlet to league leader Joe Firth and James Eaton, who were both absent on Tuesday, with only two races left.

Like the frontrunners, Dom Carter of York Postal Harriers took a season’s best, his in 33:04, while Tadcaster Harriers’ Wayne Wetherhill (33:07), Kieron Brown of host club York Acorn Running Club (33:10) and Knavesmire’s Tom Pavis (33:11) ensured the leading pack were collectively quicker than the 2023 group.

The competition for veteran-40 honours is fierce as Darren Tomlinson’s course-best 35:34 for Tadcaster shook up the standings as he trumped fellow Harrier Stephen Walker (35:41) and Knavesmire’s Charlie Goodwin (35:45). Dave Smithers, however, is the M50 champion for Knavesmire, with his course-best 34:28 netting a fourth win and leaving Tadcaster’s Paul Millgate (36:26) and Pocklington’s Richard Ginn (36:41) way off the pace.

With Stephan Tomaszewski on the sidelines, Richard Tarren enjoyed a winning debut on the Knavesmire to place first M60 with 39:15 for YKH as Easingwold Running Club star Colin Fletcher (39:33) and City’s Stephen Wright (40:22) did their best to keep up.

Mark Thompson capitalised on Michael Hetherton missing the fourth fixture to pick up a M70 win with 51:57 for Tadcaster. Michael Mcgrath of Knavesmire (52:42) and Tadcaster’s Richard Millican (1:11:17) claimed silver and bronze while no one contested the M80 class, leaving David I’Anson unruffled.

Katie Wise backed up her F35 victories at home in Pocklington and at Easingwold with another here, 40:33 placing her above Postal’s Louise Boaz (43:14) and Acorn’s Nicola Gover (43:30). Course bests ruled once more in the next three age categories as City’s Chrissie Dover (40:41) romped well clear of Easingwold’s Jennifer Duncan (44:51) and Julie Lawn of Acorn (44:50).

Karen Wood retained her F55 crown as 43:01 delivered the clutch fourth win for City, but Pocklington’s Liz Beardsley (46:00) and Anita Ruddock of Knavesmire (46:33) made her work for the achievement.

Tadcaster’s Sally Ann Polkey could take the F65 trophy with victory at Bugthorpe on June 18 after winning three on the spin thanks to a 49:45 that was beyond the reach of Easingwold’s Sally-Anne Lardner (56:12) and Pickering’s Nicola Wise (1:01:44).

Knavesmire’s ladies responded brilliantly to Pocklington’s team win last time out by taking four of the top 11 spots for 20 points courtesy of Mather, Morrison, Thompson and Emma Brookshaw. Hird, Wise, Anna Cuthbertson and Beardsley scored 61 for Pocklington with Postal third after carding 67.

Tadcaster’s men are home and dry with four wins as Wetherhill, Joe Slater, Tomlinson, Walker, David Murphy and Andrew Sloan were all in the top 15 for 64 points, while Knavesmire (86) and Acorn (157) completed the team podium.

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