Fred Hughes 10

Canterbury goes head to head with Fred

Two top-rated 10-milers compared – which is your favourite?

It was back to good, old-fashioned imperial miles and ten of them at the Pentland Homes Canterbury 10 and Fred Hughes 10 at St Albans on Sunday (24 January). Which was best? Perhaps our review will help you decide...

There are similarities between both races. Traditional running clubs promote them and they each enjoy a rural vista in their routes – held over that happy medium between the speed of the 10K and the stamina requirements of the half marathon. 

Both have been around for many years and each normally carries County Championships and/or road race GP points and kudos – although that pesky virus has played havoc with such arrangements recently. Each race contributes to local charities and both are important early-season form checks before the spring marathon season kicks off.

The Canterbury 10 had a sub-50-minute winner in defending champion Charlie Brisley (Newham & Essex Beagles, 49:40 PB) and there were 892 finishers in 2:26:34. More than 500 finished the undulating course through the Kent countryside in less than 90 minutes.

Brisley was pursued at a generous social distance by host club Invicta East Kent's Cole Gibbens (51:48) and Dan Bradley (Tonbridge AC, 52:00) – with personal bests all round. W40 Helen Gaunt (Tonbridge, 1:00:04 PB) was four minutes faster than her winning time last year and was joined on the women's rostrum by W40 Hannah Roberts (Dartford Harriers, 1:01:37 PB) and Amelie Carlsson (Tunbridge Wells Harriers, 1:02:59).

The Fred Hughes 10, organised by St Albans Striders, was won in a dozen seconds over 50 minutes by Scott Cousins (Springfield Striders, 50:12 PB) from Highgate Harriers' Alex Bampton (53:25) - the 2020 champion - and ultra runner Mark Innocenti (53:27). There were 820 finishers in 2:19:12 and 90 minutes was beaten by 526 of them – a dozen more than at Canterbury!

Finally, in a clear victory for Hertfordshire, the top three women raced home within 60 minutes. Alice Belcher (Wellingborough, 59:17 PB), W45 Kate Rennie (Dacorum, 59:20 PB) and Sophie Delderfield (Vale of Aylesbury, 59:57 PB) were a class apart as all three went inside that threshold for the first time. 

So you pays your money and you takes your choice. And on that subject, the Fred Hughes entry fees were £20/£22 – £2 cheaper than Canterbury – and both were excellent value for money. 

Results available via runABC South race listing here

Image of a previous Fred Hughes 10 courtesy My Sport Photos

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