The winter weather may have put pay to any hopes of a fast festive blast at the Christmas 10k in Christchurch but the Southampton race that was scheduled for the same day did go ahead. That meant it was a good choice made by Harry Dolman to opt for that one as he was the only Bournemouth AC member that ended up racing that day.

In Bournemouth and Christchurch the ice had made paths and road surfaces very slippery and when the sleet storm arrived in the morning, it made conditions even more treacherous. The race organisers had to concede in the end that it would be dangerous to hold the Christmas 10k but they did their level best to keep on, making the final decision 30 minutes or so before the race was due to start.

Having run pretty well in the Boscombe 10k a couple of weeks prior, recording a new PB of 38:32, there was always the scope to go faster at Southampton. The Boscombe 10k includes the hill on Queens Park West Drive which slows you down as well as some tricky crossings through the underpass on the Wessex Way.

The Southampton 10k was a brand new event, starting and finishing in St Mary’s Stadium, which is home to Premier League outfit Southampton Football Club. The route heads out across the Northam Bridge, then under the Itchen Bridge and through Ocean Village before finishing back in the stadium. It was a very flat and potentially fast course.

Harry Dolman going well in the Southampton 10k

Harry Dolman was hoping to eclipse his Boscombe 10k time in the Southampton 10k

Starting with a 6:09 split for his first mile, Harry was careful not to go out too hard at first. He then cranked it up to a 6:06 for his second mile before accelerating to a 5:58 pace for his next two miles. It was turning into a really strong run from Harry. He just needed to hold it together for the last 2.2 miles. Putting in a 6:01 for his fifth mile and then a 6:08 for his final mile, Harry sped into the finish.

Harry Dolman goes past in the Southampton 10k

Harry paced his run well and was strong throughout

That gave him a terrific time of 37:29, which was enough to put him in 12th position out of 718 runners who successfully the course. It was a really strong display from Harry and he is certainly maturing into a fine young athlete.

Marlon Trump made 10k races great again, winning a fearsome battle for supremacy with Daegan Beaumont of Brighton Phoenix for 1st place. In the end there was only one second in it, with Marlon finishing in 34:27 and Daegan coming in in 34:28.

David Healey wasn’t far behind either, crossing the line just five seconds later in 34:33. Owen Knight, also of Brighton Phoenix was the fourth man to come in under 35 minutes. He got to the line in 34:53.

Paul Holley of Newmarket Joggers took 5th place and was 1st vet, clocking a time of 35:26. He was actually in the V55 category.

Harry Dolman in the Southampton 10k

Harry races round the corner before heading back into St Mary’s Stadium

Becky Tovey of Chard Road Runners was 1st female and 26th overall, getting round in 39:10. She came in just ahead of Daniel Del Piccolo, although he had a faster chip time than her.

Amanda Hull was 2nd female, completing the course in 39:23 which put her 29th in the overall standings, or 30th on chip time. Julie Wargent of Edon Heath Harriers was 3rd lady, getting to the line in 41:11. That made her 47th fastest on chip time.

It was only a couple of weeks to wait before Harry would have his next stab at the distance when he lined up for the Round the Lakes 10k on Boxing Day. He was hoping he might be able to end the season merrily on a high with an even faster time at the Poole Park based showdown.

Harry Dolman in action in the Southampton 10k

Harry has been progressing well as his race times have showed