Caroline Robertson reports:
I made the journey to Alton for the Run Through Alton Towers 10k with husband and kids in tow. I was taking up a free entry after marshalling at another of their events. Husband and the kids donned a Hi Viz to marshal once again, thus we all got a day in Alton Towers for free!
A large well organised event with 2,318 10k runners plus a kids race of 386 made for a great atmosphere. There was a 5k and half marathon happening today too. Spectators could also purchase tickets at a much reduced rate when compared to the normal entry price to the park. I wasn’t feeling hugely enthusiastic as I was only really doing it for our kids but there was a large stage with live music which got me feeling a bit more energised. A mass warm up was followed by a request to line up at the start in predicted finish time order at 5 minute increments. The call for sub 35min runners to make their way over was met with an immediate laugh from the crowd, with the majority there for the fun of the day rather than a PB. Perhaps if I was doing 10k on a rollercoaster I may have finished in under 35 minutes! Anyone who has been to Alton Towers will know that it certainly isn’t flat! The route is undulating with lots of ups and downs around the paths and roads of the site. I got a wave from Peter Rabbit in cbeebies land, closely followed by my kids, who were so excited that they were shaking more jelly babies on the floor than they were giving to runners. Turning the corner I was then slightly star struck to be met with a high five from each of the teletubbies. Runners did dice with the potential of being knocked out, having to weave in and out of the various supports and tunnels for larger rides on narrow paths. Hey Duggie, some very over zealous pirates as well as a string of other characters and mascots lined the route as you make your way around each area of the park. A brief stint round the car park was less exciting but soon enough we were back amongst the rides with large crowds for the final few kilometres. A jazzy medal and lots of finishers goodies awaited. Next it was the children’s race. Husband and our kids were then off shift and we were free to spend the rest of the day in the park. It’s worth noting that Alton Towers is officially closed for the season so it was only runners, event staff and spectators there, meaning there were virtually no queues for any rides. After 6 hours and what felt like an eternity we finally called it a day. Highly recommend for a bit of fun and a great day out! Winner overall was James Egleston in 32.40. I plodded round in 54.16, sensibly conserving energy for the onslaught of the day ahead!