When in Staffordshire, the obvious thing to do is to find some random race and do it. That’s how Caitlin Peers ended up in the line up for the Tittesworth Trail 10k – an event put on by RunThrough. When she was looking up some information about it, she found that the women’s course record was over an hour. Over an hour for a 10k!! So she thought clearly no female runners of a high standard had ever done it before.
Caitlin has been in tremendous form of late, recording a 10k PB of 37:35 at Brighton before she went on to win a bronze medal for her age group at the World Duathlon Championships in Ibiza. She could even have won gold if she’d had one of the superfast, aerodynamic time trial bikes. After that she went on to improve her parkrun PB to 17:42 at the Poole parkrun smash up where many BAC runners descending on the their neighbouring event for a spectacular showing of speed.
The weekend before she did the Tittesworth Trail 10k she was competing in the Southern Athletics League matchup at Kings Park where she managed 3rd place in the A-string 1500m in a time of 5:07. She also won the B-string 3000m in a time of 10:40.
The Tittesworth Trail 10k route started out at the picturesque Tittesworth Reservoir. Once proceedings got underway and Caitlin set off, she looked up and saw this massive wall in front of her. That would explain why the course record was what it was. It was the ascent up to the summit of Hen Cloud. That was basically what the race was. You had to run up to the top of the mountain, which is 410 metres high, over a 3.3 mile stretch. Then once you get to the top, have a quick look at the incredible view of the reservoir below before hurtling back down as quickly as you can. So not quite as straight forward as she originally thought.
Setting off quite quickly, Caitlin clocked a 6:54 for her first mile even though it was uphill. The second mile was uphill all the way on a the same sort of gradient throughout. That was a further 282ft of climbing which Caitlin managed in 8:08 before moving onto the toughest section of the race. The climbing got super steep on this one and although there was a short section of downhill, it went back up again and was again very steep.
That mile featured another 291ft of climbing and Caitlin got through it in 12:36 before scaling the rest of the mountain on her fourth mile. Once she got to the top, it was downhill all the way for the rest of the race. Some of the descent was very steep though and she had to be careful not to lose her balance.
Going through the fourth mile in 10:11, she went on to recover well and blast her way down the remainder of the descent which was a little less steep. Posting a 6:27, followed by a 6:24, she then arrived at the finish and crossed the line. Recording a terrific time of 51 minutes and 33 seconds, Caitlin had obliterated the female course record. And not only that, she’d also come 2nd in the entire race, which was mightily impressive.
The only person who could get the better of her on the day was Marcus Hulme who completed the course in exactly 50 minutes. Caitlin had come in 10 seconds ahead of Chris Weeks who took 3rd place. It wasn’t the same Chris Weeks who won the Portland 10 last year though, it was a different one. He took the first V40 prize as well.
Caitlin’s the nearest female rival was Ruth Nichols who made it to the finish in 57:55. That was enough to put her in 7th place overall and win her 1st in the V35 category. Emma Mills of Uttoxer Road Runners was the next lady in after that, recording a time of 1:01:51 which put her 13th overall. There were 191 athletes successfully completing the 10k race that day.
There was also a Half Marathon race on the day which was won by Joel Stevens in a time of 1:53:14. There were more hills to come in that race after the one that Caitlin climbed in the 10k. No one else got in in under two hours. There was also a 50k as well and that was won by Carl Everall in a time of 4:29:31.
It was another in a string of remarkable successes for Caitlin over recent months and she’s really been excelling at everything she turns her hand to. Sadly Caitlin will be moving to New Zealand for a couple of years in September so the club will lose her from the ranks, for a while at least. No doubt she’ll keep up the training there though and will hopefully return to BAC at some time in the not too distant future.