Nikki Whittaker in the Chichester 10k

There were many other opponents in the Chichester 10k but Nikki Whittaker was only really competing against herself. She wanted that PB so badly!

After a couple of good solid performances at the Stubbington 10k and the rescheduled Christmas 10k, it was time for Rob McTaggart and Nikki Whittaker to line up on the grid and rev their engines at the iconic Goodwood Race Circuit for the Chichester 10k.

Taking 4th place at Stubbington in 32:20 and 2nd in the Christmas 10k with a 32:01, Tag was exhibiting some top quality form going into the race and with his marathon training boosting him in all areas, he had every reason to be confident. His PB was a 31:25 recorded at Telford in 2019.

Registering a time of exactly 52 minutes at Stubbington and then a 51:39 at the Christmas 10k, Nikki was moving through the gears nicely. Her PB of 50:53 was actually set at the Christmas 10k back in 2018.

Both running the Chichester 10k last year, Tag completed it in 33:27 with Nikki coming in 52:21. Tag had run 31:45 in it though back in 2020 so he knew if he has a good day, the course would enable him to produce something close to his best.

The runners and riders gather on the start line for the Chichester 10k

The start line for the Chichester 10k was brimming with talent

Also capable of producing a very quick time, Joe Arundel was back, making a rare race appearance. He’d run under 33 minutes for 10k before along a 15:46 parkrun so had bags of ability.

Having recently signed for Bournemouth AC after running for Lonely Goat last season, David Pinney was also in the line up so it would be interesting to see how he fared in a very high standard field.

The course for the Chichester 10k is, as you would expect from a race circuit, fast and flat and the road surfaces are smooth and wide, making it perfect PB potential. It starts in front of the main grandstand and is then a 3.5k lap of the Motor Circuit. After that it’s out onto the road for 5k before returning to the Race Circuit before heading for the finish line, again in front of the main grandstand.

Rob McTaggart in the Chichester 10k

Rob McTaggart was also in shape to be having a tilt at his 10k PB

Going at around 5:05 minute mile pace for the first couple of miles, Tag then went even quicker for the third mile at 4:54. That mile had a slight downhill which was then a slight incline for the next mile, which he did in 5:09.

Following that up with a 5:10 for the fifth mile, he was then back up to 5:05 for the sixth mile before finishing strongly for the final quarter of a mile. That was enough the seal a superfast finishing time of 31:28 for Tag which put him in 11th place.

Rob McTaggart finishing the Chichester 10k

Tag reaches the finish line in an outstanding time of 31:28

Although it was a few seconds down on his Telford time, the course at Telford is a dodgy downhill one, so he’s effectively classing this as a road PB. His average pace for the run was a flabbergasting 5:03 minutes per mile.

Following in just a couple of seconds after Tag, Joe Arundel secured 12th place in superb time of 31:31. With performances like that, Bournemouth AC would certainly love to see some more  regular performances from him.

Joe Arundel in the Chichester 10k

Joe Arundel showed he’s still running incredibly well, finishing just a few seconds after Tag

Also running well to secure a decent sub 40 time, David Pinney got over the line in 39:12, which put him in 118th place.

Going out hard from the outset, Nikki Whittaker went against her usual tactics, absolutely determined to strike while the iron’s hot. She was going at 8 minutes per mile to begin with and was planning to hold on for as long as she could.

Managing the next couple of miles at that same pace, she then recorded an 8:16 for her fourth mile and an 8:09 for her fifth before picking it back up again in the sixth mile for a 7:52. Finishing the race strongly, she made it to the line in 50:07, meaning she’d absolutely smashed her previous best by quite some margin.

Nikki Whittaker in action at the Chichester 10k

Nikki went out of the traps hard and was hoping to maintain it as best show could

It was a terrific result for Nikki and well deserved from all the hard work she puts in in training. That put her in 355th place overall and she was 82nd female out of 253. There was a total of 671 runners completing the race.

Picking up the race win in a time of 29:50, it was Matt Leach of Bedford & County AC. That was enough to see him come in ahead of Scott Cousins of Springfield Striders who clocked a time of 30:13 to take 2nd place. Simon Heath of Bright Phoenix was 3rd, getting to the line in 30:34.

Cassie Thorp of City of Portsmouth came in as first female, recording a time of 34:37. That put her 55th place overall. Niamh Brown of Aldershot Farnham & District was 2nd female in 34:55, which put her in 57th place. Her teammate Lauren Hall was the next woman in, getting round in 34:59, which saw her place 60th overall.

Nikki Whittaker after securing a PB at the Chichester 10k

This was the sign that Nikki hoped she’d be holding up at the end of the race – and indeed she was!!