George Biggs battling it out in the Eastleigh 10k

George Biggs was one of four Bournemouth AC men in action at the Eastleigh 10k

All roads lead to Boston at the moment for Barry Dolman as he continues his preparation for one of the world’s most iconic marathons. That has meant he’s had a rigorous and intense training routine to work through, with every run geared towards getting himself in peak condition for the big day. And naturally, when you’re heading to Boston, of course, there has to be a stop off at Eastleigh on the way!

It was a different story for Trev Elkins as for him, the Eastleigh 10k was his target race for the Spring and all his training since the beginning of the year was in preparation for that race. He’d recorded a a new 5 mile PB at the Romsey 5 along the way and also recently won the Up on the Downs 10k in a new course record, finishing four and half minutes ahead of his nearest rival. But what he really wanted was a new 10k PB at Eastleigh.

His best time thus far was 36:44, which he did at Eastleigh last Spring. Could he top that this round though, that was the burning question. As for Harry Dolman, it was a similar situation. He had been targeting the 10k distance and head been progressing well and improving his times a lot recently.

In fact, he’d managed to get his 10k time down to 37:24 which he did at the Poole Round the Lakes race on Boxing Day. He’s still very young though so has a lot of improving still to do and a very bright future ahead of him. Could be get challenge his best time at Eastleigh this year though?

Barry had also been chipping away at his best 10 time last year as well and recorded an excellent PB of 36:54 in that same Round the Lakes 10k. He’d also secured a new PB of 1:22:44 at the Gosport Half Marathon towards the end of the year so had been showing real signs of improvement.

For this one though, it was a very different approach as he was attacking the Eastleigh 10k as part of a longer training run which entailed running 12.5 miles before he even started the race. That was of course going to make it tough to reach his usual heights but if he managed to execute it right, it would serve as a great training run.

The front runners in the Eastleigh 10k

It was a full stacked field for an Eastleigh 10k that promised to be fast and furious

With a best official 10k time of 40:01 set at the Boscombe 10k in 2021, George Biggs was looking to eclipse that at Eastleigh and he certainly had the tools to do it. Getting through the first 5k in 19:08, he was well on course for it if he could keep it together in the second half of race.

He managed to do that with no issues. In fact, he cranked the pace up over the second half of the race, getting through it in 18:35. That gave him a finishing time of 37:42 on gun time, but on chip time, he’d actually registered 37:28.

The positions were allocated on gun time though and that put him in 174th place overall out of 2,237. It was a terrific new fastest 10k time for George though and certainly gave him a high benchmark to aim for next time.

George Biggs heads down the track in the Eastleigh 10k

George ran extremely well to nail down a new PB of 37:28

Feeling quite run down in the lead up to the race, Trev hadn’t been up at nights quite a lot tending to his son Dillan and had also contracted a very bad cold the previous week which was not ideal. On the training that he’d done though, he felt reasonably confident.

He started off very spritely, with a 5:44 for his first mile, which he then followed up with a 5:55. The third mile contains the only real incline in the race and Trev got through that one in 6:08. That led him to a first 5k of 18:42.

Trev Elkins with George Biggs in the background

Trev Elkins had been targeting the Eastleigh 10k for a fast time

He then posted a 6:01 for this fourth mile and a 6:03 for his fifth mile. He hadn’t been checking his watching though and only looked at it for the first time at 8k. He was hoping to see just over 28 minutes but he was on 29:36. His heart sank at that point and he had to have a word with himself to finish the last 2k as mentally he had given up there and then.

Finishing with a 6:16 for his last mile, Trev‘s finishing time was 37:37, which was over a minute off what he produced the previous year. He was really disappointed with that but sadly, with his immune system down, it was the best he could do. He just hadn’t recovered well enough to perform at his optimum level.

Trev Elkins finishing the Eastleigh 10k

Trev got to the line in a chip time of 37:37

It is really frustrating when that happens in a race you’d been targeting and working towards for several months but there’s nothing he can do about it now. He will have to look forward and see if he can salvage something out of all the training over the next few months. Perhaps he’ll be able to come out swinging in the Poole 10k in June.

Finishing in 175th position, just one place behind George, Trev was 32nd out of 196 in the VM 40-44 category. Of course, not of that was any consolation to him though as as far he was concerned, it was all about the time.

Barry Dolman comes down the track in the Eastleigh 10k

Barry Dolman had already been running for an hour and forty minutes before starting the race!!

Getting through his first 5k in 19:37, even though he had already done over 15 miles, Barry somehow started getting quicker in the second 5k. In fact he completed the second 5k in 18:15 which was a tremendous effort considering it had brought him to end of an 18.7 mile run.

His finishing time was 37:42 which put him in 179th place overall and 7th in the VM 50-54 category. It was a really encouraging sign for Barry how strongly he finished his long training run and that certainly bodes well for his marathon prospects.

Barry Dolman finishes the Eastleigh 10k

Barry still ran a progressive race despite the extra miles

For Harry, it was the other way round. He started off strongly, with a 6:05 for his first mile and a 5:59 for his second mile. Then a 6:04 for his third mile led to an 18:55 for his first 5k. He was still going strong in the fourth mile, posting a 5:57 which was his quickest of the race. After that though he began to tail off a bit, dropping to 6:18 for his fifth and 6:37 for his sixth.

Harry Dolman on the road in the Eastleigh 10k

Harry Dolman started brightly and was looking on course for a good time

Completing the second 5k in 19:33, Harry ended up getting over the line in 38:28 which was exactly a minute down on his PB. It was a shame really as it was only in the last couple of miles that he really began to suffer.

Harry Dolman in the Eastleigh 10k

Harry was very strong for the first four miles of the race

Harry Dolman heads down the path in the Eastleigh 10k

The last third of the run proved tough for Harry

Nevertheless though, it was still good enough to earn Harry first place in the Boys 15-16 category, which was fantastic news. In terms of the overall standings, he was 198th.

Harry Dolman comes in to complete the Eastleigh 10k

Harry claimed first place in the Boys 15 to 16 category

Jonathan Cornish of Hercules Wimbledon was the victor, ripping round the course in a lightening quick time of 30:11. William Bryan of Southampton sealed the runner up spot in 30:24, with Alex Lawrence of Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets taking 3rd in 30:33.

Six men went under 31 minutes, underlining how high the standard is at the front of the field. 17 men came in in under 32 minutes, which is still a remarkably quick time for a 10k. 29 men finished in under 33 minutes, showing that you really have to be quick to finish high up at Eastleigh.

Jonathan Cornish comes in for the win

Jonathan Cornish of Hercules Wimbledon picked up the win

City of Salisbury man Andrew Ingleton, who performed well in the Boscombe Winter 5k Series recently, clocked a time of 33:32 which put him in 37th place overall.

The accolade of first female went to Louise Small of Aldershot Farnham & District. She put in a big performance to get round in 33:34, putting her in 39th place overall.

Meg Gadsby of City of Norwich was the 2nd female over the line. She clocked a time of 33:52 which put her in 46th place overall.

Lee Dempster of Twemlow Track Club ran as well, completing the course in 35:03 which put him in 85th place just ahead of Michael Godfrey of Wimborne AC who was 86th on 35:04.

Vicki Ingham finishing the Eastleigh 10k

Vicki Ingham of Poole Runners was the 6th fastest female

Poole Runners star Vicki Ingham was 6th woman over the line in a time of 35:53 and that put her in 107th place overall.

Dorset Doddlers dame Molly Rasch nailed a brilliant PB to get round in 36:30 which saw her finish as 11th placed female and 131st overall.

Molly Rasch completing the Eastleigh 10k

Molly Rasch of Dorset Doddlers secured a fantastic new PB of 36:30

Already having one three hour training run behind him in which he covered 24.5 miles, Barry then went one better the weekend after Eastleigh, completing the full marathon distance in 3 hours 6 minutes, putting his average pace at 7:06 minutes per mile.

That again demonstrated how strongly Barry is running at the moment and how hard he’s been working in training. He has certainly left no stone unturned in his bid to produce a quality marathon time in Boston.

The thing about marathons is, you essentially run your race in training. It’s already done before you actually take to the start line. It’s the training that will enable you to execute the run you want to on the day. And by virtue of that, Barry should do very well when his time to shine comes round.

A rhino going round in the Eastleigh 10k

No big race is complete without the presence of a rhino