If you’re a fan of steep, sharp, substantial inclines then the Gold Hill 10k should be your idea of paradise. If you’re not then quite frankly, you’ve come to the wrong place! Renowned for it’s acute and ample speed bumps, the Gold Hill 10k includes the killer climb made famous by a 1970’s Hovis advert, along with several subsequent slopes that will sap the energy stores and strain those leg muscles to the extreme.

With the Dorset Road Race League Men’s First Division title race already decided and 2nd place already sealed for Bournemouth AC, their men decided to opt out and give the torturous 10k the swerve. The BAC ladies, however, had other ideas, and decided to launch an all out assault. They were boosted by the return of Emma Caplan, who hadn’t featured in a league race since she helped the team on to victory in the season opener of the Broadstone Quarter on New Years Day.

She was joined in the race by Debbie Lennon, who has been in excellent form of late and has already sown up the victory in the 55-59 category for the season. Tamzin Petersen and Louise Price were also there, along with Lea Lohk and Helen Ambrosen, who has also sealed the win in her age category which is the 65-69 division.

Although they’d already been confirmed as Men’s Second Division champions, Twemlow Track Club brought plenty of meat to the table, with Lee Dempster, Harry Lauste, Jez Bragg, Steven Rigby and Steve Cook all chomping at the bit for some hellacious hill action.

And despite already having sealed the Men’s First Division title, Egdon Heath Harriers still assembled a strong looking line up, with Christopher Peck, Martyn Bell, Jamie Barrington and Matt Faramus in their team.

The course starts out from Shaftesbury School on Hawkesdene Lane in Shaftesbury and consists of a single loop round scenic country lanes. The iconic Gold Hill climb is the first one that the participants encounter. It’s pretty much up and down all the way, with the elevation total reaching close to 1,000ft over the 10k distance.

Emma Caplan in action at the Gold Hill 10k

Emma Caplan works her way up the steep slope in the Gold Hill 10k

Emma Caplan had a pretty good run, getting round the course in 44 minutes and 43 seconds which out her in 34th place overall and she was 3rd lady over the line and 1st vet.

Emma scales the steep slope in the Gold Hill 10k

Emma finished as 3rd lady and 1st female vet

Continuing her rich vein of form, Debbie Lennon was 5th female, clocking an excellent time of 47:59. That put her in 53rd place overall and she was 2nd vet behind Emma. It was a really strong run from Debbie and considering she’d been having nightmares about running up Gold Hill all week in the build up, she tackled the inclines very well.

Debbie Lennon in the Gold Hill 10k

Debbie Lennon finished 5th and was 2nd female vet

That gave Bournemouth AC a massive chance of winning the fixture for the Dorset Road Race League. All they needed was one more woman to come in. They got that when Tamzin Petersen arrived to record a time of 53:33, making her 15th female and 83rd overall.

Tamzin Petersen in the Gold Hill 10k

Tamzin Petersen manoeuvres up the testing incline

Since she likes a good hill, Tamzin must have been in her element at Gold Hill, as there were plenty of them. She does quite a few hill sessions in training though so was fairly adept at handling them and she was fastest in the 30-34 category for the league.

Tamzin scales the sumptuous slope in the Gold Hill 10k

Tamzin completed the scoring team of three for Bournemouth AC

That was enough the seal the win in the Dorset Road Race League for Bournemouth AC. They hadn’t actually won any races since the first fixture, which was the Broadstone Quarter, so it was great to get another win on the board for the BAC ladies.

The prizes for the first female team in the race itself though was decided on the first four runners, so they needed another woman in the secure that accolade. Coming in as 20th lady, Lea Lohk then completed the team, finishing in 55:50. She was also first over 60 female and came 96th overall. That meant Bournemouth AC had indeed won the team prize as well.

Lea Lohk in the Gold Hill 10k

Lea Lokh was 1st over 60 female

Finishing as 35th female, Louise Price was next over the line for the yellow and blues, getting round in 1 hour and 39 seconds. That put her in 130th place in the overall standings.

Louise Price in the Gold Hill 10k

Louise Price battles her way up the sumptuous slope

It wasn’t long before Helen Ambrosen arrived to round off an excellent day for the Bournemouth AC ladies. She made it to the line in 1 hour 1 minute and 27 seconds, putting her 38th placed woman and 135th overall. She was 1st in the 65-69 category.

Helen Ambrosen in the Gold Hill 10k

Helen Ambrosen hauls herself up the iconic climb

Matilda Bengtsson of Poole Runners was first female, at just 15 years of age. Her time of 40:56 put her in 9th place overall, which was a tremendous result for her.

Georgina Povall of Egdon Heath Harriers was 2nd female, crossing the line in 21st place overall with a time of 42:56. That strengthened her position at the top of the standings in the ladies individual table and meant that Lauren Baker-Little of Poole Runners could no longer catch her.

The only woman that can prevent Georgina from being individual woman’s champion is Molly Rasch of Dorset Doddlers. She will need to run the last race which is the Wimborne 10 though in order to do that.

Helen Ambrosen battles up the slope in the Gold Hill 10k

Helen was 1st in the 65-69 category for the league

Right at the front of the race, it was Christopher Peck who picked up the win, just has he did in the previous fixture, the Hoburne 5. He got round in a remarkably quick time of 36:02. Given how hilly it was, that was a cracking effort from him and was enough to see off stiff competition from Harry Lauste.

On this occasion, Harry had to settle for 2nd place, registering a still mightily impressive time of 36:44. Jamie Barrington was 3rd in 37:39 and at just 18 years of age, he looks to have bags of potential.

Jez Bragg gave Twemlow Track Club their second scorer when he arrived to claim 4th place in a time of 38:14. Then Steven Rigby reached the line to give them their third runner in. He recorded a time of 38:59 which put him in 5th place.

Thomas Daniel of Bridport Runners was 6th in 39:32 before Matt Faramus arrived to give Egdon Heath Harriers their second scorer. He clocked a time of 40:01. Adam Switzer of Yeovil Town RRC was next man over the line, getting round in 40:33.

Steve Cook was the first over 50 man to come in and he completed the course in 41:07. The sealed 1st team prize for Twemlow Track Club, since that was decided on the first four runners.

Martyn Bell arrived in 12th place, recording a time of 41:28 and he was fourth man in for Egdon Heath Harriers. That both Egdon Heath Harriers and Twemlow Track Club were waiting for one more runner to complete their scoring team for the Dorset Road Race League.

Lee Dempster was the fifth man in for Twemlow Track Club, giving them bragging rights as the top scoring team for the fixture. He took 38th place, crossing the line in 45:36. Egdon Heath Harriers completed their scoring team when Anthony Rimmer reached the finish, giving them the win in the First Division. He registered a time of 47:13 which put him in 47th place.

Littledown Harriers were 2nd in the Men’s First Division for the fixture, with Lytchett Manor Striders taking 3rd and Poole Runners in 4th. Littledown and Lytchett were now joint fourth in the standings for the season so far so that was going to go down to the final fixture at Wimborne.

Royal Manor of Portland were 2nd placed team in the Men’s Second Division, with Westbourne taking 3rd.

Poole Runners were 2nd placed ladies team behind Bournemouth AC. They had Kate Wilkinson who was 4th female at just 16 years of age, finishing in 47:24. They also had Matilda Bengtsson who was 1st female. Esther Downes complete their scoring team, getting round in 58:34 which made her 19th placed scorer in the Dorset Road Race League.

Dorset Doddlers were the only ladies team in the Second Division to field a scoring team of three so they won the fixture by virtue of that. That moved them ahead of Dorchester RIOT in the race for 1st place in the Second Division and meant that that will be decided on the final day, at the Wimborne 10.

The race win moved Bournemouth AC onto level points with Lytchett Manor Striders in 3rd place for the season so far so that will be also be decided on the final day of the season at the Wimborne 10.

Debbie Lennon and Emma Caplan after coming 2nd and 1st vets at the Gold Hill 10k

Debbie Lennon (left) and Emma Caplan (right) were given handcrafted bowls for finishing 2nd and 1st female vets

Debbie Lennon was now fourth female overall in the Dorset Road Race League standings, behind Hannah Martyn of Egdon Heath Harriers. Tamzin is currently in 8th position, just behind Heather Khoshnevis. At the moment she’s 2nd in the 30-34 category, although Molly Rasch will go back ahead if she does the final fixture.

Helen Ambrosen is 12th overall at the moment in the woman’s individual. If Lea Lohk does the last fixture at the Wimborne 10, that will give her 7 scoring races and will elevate her position in the standings considerably, although she won’t be able to catch Heather at the top of the 60-64 division.

Christopher Peck has won the Dorset Road Race League men’s individual title as the Gold Hill 10k was his 7th race. He was first scorer in the last three races which saw him wrestle the title away from last year’s champion Lee Dempster.

Rich Brawn is currently 6th in the standings and 2nd in the 40-44 category and Sam Jackson is 7th and has won the 45-49 age group. Sam’s brother Luke is currently 20th overall in the individual table and is 5th in the 40-44 category.

Even though the First Division titles have long since been decided it should still be an exciting final day of the season at the Wimborne 10. Dorchester RIOT could still sneak in ahead of Westbourne and claim a place in the new look Men’s Division Two as the seven teams that do not finish in the top three in the Second Division will be in the Division Three.

The Bournemouth AC ladies team for the Gold Hill 10k

The brilliant Bournemouth AC ladies team for the Gold Hill 10k featuring Tamzin, Debbie, Lou, Lea, Helen and Emma

The Bournemouth AC ladies are embroiled in the three way battle for 3rd place in the final standings, with Lytchett Manor Striders and Littledown Harriers so it will be interesting to see how that one plays out.

The Ladies Second Division title is still up for grabs, with Dorset Doddlers and Dorchester RIOT taking it to the final day. It’s quite tight for third place though and four different clubs are still in the hunt for that final passage into Division Two and to avoid falling into Division Three.

The ladies individual title is still hanging in the balance as well, with Molly Rasch potentially able to steal it away from Georgina Povall if she competes at the Wimborne 10.

The Bournemouth AC ladies will certainly be hoping they can get a good team together and finish the season on a high by sealing that third place. That would be a splendid outcome after a challenging year where they’ve often struggled to get their most competitive runners out.