Pocklington 10k 2023: Shannon and Baines defy heavy rain as Knavesmire take control

Jake Shannon held off the challenge of early York and District Road Race League pacesetter Joe Firth as Emily Baines helped York Knavesmire Harriers defy incredibly inhospitable wet weather at Pocklington to take control of the 2023 competition.

Shannon, fifth man home in the season opener at Tadcaster, stormed to victory in 33:37 amid thunder, lightning and a deluge that beset the 404 runners from start to finish across an undulating 10k that climbed to Millington in the Yorkshire Wolds before descending alongside torrents of pounding rain back into Pocklington and home via ‘The Mile’ – largely through long stretches of standing water.

Tadcaster Harriers’ Firth (33:53) stayed on Shannon’s soggy heels after being overtaken but could not follow up his debut win last time out, with Tom Pavis of Knavesmire (34:10) duly slipping a place to third. Wayne Wetherhill of Tadcaster (34:14), Knavesmire’s Jasper Baker (34:28) and York Postal Harriers’ Dom Carter (34:47) completed a tight top six despite average finish times being savaged by the terrible racing conditions.

Baines improved on her second place at Tadcaster on April 25 to lead the Knavesmire ladies home in 37:51. Hazel Hall made it a YKH one-two with a strong 39:57 from the veteran 45 category while Elizabeth Nairn made a dent in the standings for Selby Striders with 40:19 for third place. Pickering Running Club and Pocklington Runners had Kelly Gaughan (40:41) and Katie Wise (40:48) packing out the top six along with Ruth McGivern of Tadcaster in 41:09.

With six men in the top 11 and four women in their top 10, Knavesmire are already looking like the team to beat after just two events, with Firth, Wetherhill and Joseph Slater (34:51) keeping Tadcaster in hot pursuit while Selby ladies’ strong pack eye a big push at Easingwold in two weeks’ time.

York Acorn Running Club received a boost in their bid for vet 40 men’s honours as Christopher Poulton (35:26) took the win from Knavesmire’s Phillip Elliott (35:41) and John Yoward of Tadcaster who clocked 36:04. Knavesmire’s Dave Smithers (35:33) took another first place in the vet 50 men’s race, with Stephen Maddison (37:40) second in Pocklington colours and Matthew Smithson (37:54) once again third for Acorn.

Stephan Tomaszewski (40:15) still leads the vet 60 men ahead of City of York AC’s Steve Wright (41:18) and Tadcaster’s Mike Jackson (42:48). Michael Hetherton is flying the flag for Pickering with 50:58 and another gold medal for the vet 70 men.

Nairn and Wise were joined by Emma Winter of Selby (42:11) on the vet 35 women’s podium while Tadcaster’s Joanna Millican (44:45) and Knavesmire’s Bethany Benger (45:00) are keeping the pressure on vet 45 women’s leader Hall.

City’s Karen Wood followed up her curtain-raising vet 55 women’s triumph with 45:58 to keep Selby’s Susan Farr (47:56) and Sue Tindall of Tadcaster (48:29) at arm’s length, with Kathryn Dickinson 179th overall with 45:46 to take top spot for the vet 65 women.