Something of a mecca for off-road running and trail events, the New Forest plays host to numerous races throughout the year and recently it was the turn of the New Forest 10 Mile race. It was the 35th anniversary of the event which is organised by New Forest Runners and Trev Elkins, Adrian Townsend and Theo Weaver were there to help commemorate it.

Andrew Ridley in the New Forest 10 Mile race

Known to many around the Bournemouth AC camp, Andrew Ridley (674) was in action at the New Forest 10 Mile race

Having only recently recovered from a bout of covid, Trev was still feeling a little fatigued from it and was finding it hard to hit his normal race pace. He had managed a 40:42 finish in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k a few weeks earlier but that was well below the sort of time he would ordinarily have been capable of over that distance.

Helen O'Neile and Trev Elkins in the New Forest 10 Mile

Former BAC member Helen O’Neile (632) and Trev Elkins (pink t-shirt) were in action

Adrian Townsend had done a few recent half marathons, including the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London and the Solent Half Marathon, which was a Hampshire Road Race League fixture. By that token, he should have had no troubles with a 10 mile race, although this was mostly trail though so it was bound to be a touch tougher.

Adrian Townsend starting the New Forest 10 Mile race

Adrian Townsend (470) gets his race underway

Considering himself as more of a sprinter these days, the 10 mile distance would have seemed quite far by comparison for Theo Weaver. He had been doing quite a few parkruns recently though and had even tried his hand at the famously challenging Durlston Country Park one which will have any floundering.

Theo Weaver in the New Forest 10 Mile

Theo Weaver (482) was making a rare long distance race appearance

Starting brightly with a 6:05 first mile, Trev then settled down into a more sustainable pace of between 6:20 and 6:40 splits for the next five miles. That took him to the 10k point. It got a little tougher from there but Trev did his best to hang in there. There were a couple of small inclines on the ninth mile which proved testing but Trev ground them out before getting back on pace for the final mile.

Trev Elkins finishing the New Forest 10 Mile

Trev ran well despite still suffering from the after effects of covid

That culminated in a finishing time of 1:05:47, which put Trev in 13th place and 3rd in the M40 division. He’d come in just behind former Bournemouth AC member Helen O’Neile, who was 3rd female in 1:05:28. Trev’s average pace for the run was 6:37.

Helen O'Neile finishing the New Forest 10 Mile

Helen was 12th overall and 3rd female in 1:05:28

Starting off at a more conservative 6:50 pace for the first couple of miles, Adrian Townsend then settled into a pace of just over 7 minutes per mile. He kept it going well, getting up to the nine mile point. He blew up a bit on the ninth mile, dropping his pace quite significantly before recovering well the seeing the race out with a decent final mile.

Adrian Townsend finishing the New Forest 10 Mile

Adrian heads down the finishing straight

Recording a time of 1:10:46, Adrian arrived at the finish in 35th place. He was 8th in the M50 bracket and his average pace for the run was 7:06. It was extremely windy on the day as well so that would have served to make it even tougher to find a rhythm.

Adrian Townsend crosses the line in the New Forest 10 Mile

Adrian took 35th place in 1:10:46

Opening his race with a fairly quick first couple of miles, Theo then dropped down to a more steady pace in the third mile. After that he settled into a more sustainable pace which he was able to keep to for the next four or five miles.

Theo Weaver approaching the finish in the New Forest 10 Mile

Theo (left) makes his way toward the finish

His lack of endurance training would have certainly come into play but he held it together well in the latter stages, despite the inclines in the ninth mile. Getting to the line in 1:19:41, Theo finished 91st in the overall standings and his average pace for the run was 7:58 which wasn’t bad for a sprinter.

Theo Weaver finishes the New Forest 10 Mile race

Theo completed the course in 1:19:41 which put him in 91st place

At the front of the field it was a closely contested race, with John Borton of Thames Valley Harriers coming out on top in a time of 57:49. That was enough to give him an eight second margin of victory over Bournemouth local Andrew Ridley who got round in 57:57.

John Borton winning the New Forest 10 Mile

John Borton of Thames Valley Harriers picked up the victory in 57:49

At 58 years of age, Andrew is still able to compete at a very high level and won the World Masters Championship 1500m in Finland during the summer and was 2nd in the 800m. He also won the European Masters Indoor Championship 1500m earlier in the year as well.

Andrew Ridley taking second in the New Forest 10 Mile

Andrew Ridley had to settle for 2nd place in 57:57

Jacques Michel Caignard of Winchester & District was 3rd in 58:16, with Poole Runners man Dave Tindall the only other person to get in under the hour. He took 4th place in 59:39.

Charlotte Roach of Lymington was 1st female, crossing the line in 1:04:16, which put her in 9th place. Nikki Moxham of Gosport Road Runners was 2nd lady and 10th overall in 1:04:37.

Trev Elkins crossed the line in the New Forest 10 Mile

Trev crossed the line in 13th place recording a time of 1:05:47

Next up for Trev it was the return of the Boscombe Winter 5k Series which has been resurrected from 2015, when it last took place. It was an exciting prospect for Trev and several other Bournemouth AC members to have a set of races taking place right on their doorstep and the midweek matchups were scheduled to take place on designated Tuesday evenings.