The wait is over for hundreds of runners who will be taking part in the 10th McCain Yorkshire Coast 10K on Sunday.
A backwards runner and a trio of firefighters dressed in full kit are among hundreds set to get on their marks for the 10th McCain Yorkshire Coast 10k.
More than 2500 runners will be lacing up their trainers for this Sunday’s Scarborough event – the biggest yet.
Spaces for the hugely popular 10k sold out in less than three hours, with record numbers of runners keen to tackle a route from Scarborough Spa, around Marine Drive to the Sea Life Centre and onwards to the finishing line at North Bay promenade.
As well as the main road race, there are the popular 2.5k and 1.6k Family Fun Runs – just £1 to enter on the day and ideal for children and anyone keen to run the shore on a smaller scale.
This year’s 10th McCain Yorkshire Coast 10k has seen a broad mix of entrants – including seven over-75s. They’ll include the oldest man in the pack, Keith Revill, 81, from Retford, Nottinghamshire, who is aiming for a time of 1hr 10mins, and the oldest female Dorothy Jackson, 75, from Lindley, Huddersfield, who expects to cross the line in an impressive 1hr and 4mins.
Dorothy is among 1311 women taking part in Sunday’s race – for the third year in a row there’ll be more women than men taking part.
They’ll all be aiming to keep up with last year’s male winner, Jay Ferns from Whitby who a year ago crossed the line in just 32m 16secs. A key challenger this time round is likely to be Scarborough’s James Kraft, who recently achieved the sixth best park run time and is bound to be pushing for a win.
Look out too for Michael Joyeux, Arron Larkin and Gregan Clarkson – all possible contenders to be first man over the line.
The women’s run will be hotly contested by Rebecca Winter and Rhona Marshall from Scarborough, and Kay Neesam. There’ll definitely be a new face on the podium – last year’s winner Carla Stansfield is not taking part.
Runners have come from far and wide – there are entrants from Ireland, London, Scotland and even Cyprus – but most are Yorkshire locals keen to enjoy the bracing Scarborough air and challenge themselves on what for most will be familiar territory.
There are even ten runners who’ll be celebrating birthdays as they tackle the route.
Perhaps the most unusual running style will be provided by Jon Kemp, who is planning to run the entire route facing backwards to raise money for Saint Catherine’s Hospice.
Jon, who’ll have a guide to help ensure he doesn’t stray off course, has already nailed both the Humber Bridge half marathon and the Jane Tomlinson Hull 10k facing the wrong way.
Blind runner Antony O’Keefe will be taking part along with his guide runner Loren Poole, while there’s likely to be a special cheer for firefighters Justin Rowe, Lalan Flynn and Mark Sykes from Scarborough and Malton Stations, who’ll be raising money for Alzheimer’s Society by running wearing full breathing apparatus and fire kit.
Also running will be radio and television presenter Paul Tonkinson, a former Scarborough AC runner who is also a regular contributor to Runner’s World magazine.
Race Directors, Mike and Melanie Padgham, said: “This Sunday’s event looks set to be even more special than ever – the 10th anniversary and the increase in numbers have added extra excitement to the run.
“All that remains is to keep our fingers crossed for decent weather and urge as many people as possible to come down and cheer the runners on.”
McCain, which will mark its 50th anniversary in Scarborough in March next year, sponsors the event as part of its commitment to encouraging healthy, active lifestyles in the community.
Jennifer Domett from McCain said: “We’ve supported the McCain Yorkshire Coast 10k for the past 10 years – and it’s been fantastic to watch it grow.
“My favourite thing about the event is how inclusive it is – there really are no barriers.
“We have toddlers running the Family Fun Runs and people in their 80s completing the 10k. There are seasoned runners trying to achieve a personal best, work teams running for charity and groups of friends who’ve set this as their first running challenge. It’s everything a community event should be.”
The main 10k run starts at 10am, but runners can turn up on the day and take part in either the shorter one mile run from 11.30am which takes in the lifeboat house, and a longer 2.5k course that turns just before the fairground roundabout.
Last year saw more than 700 runners take part – with Scalby & Newby school scooping the school’s challenge cup – making it one of the biggest fun runs in the land.
The organisers are hoping the event can go for gold and mark its tenth anniversary by scooping the Yorkshire 10k section of The Running Awards. To vote, go to www.therunningawards.com