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Thame 10k: Course preview

May 10, 2010

27 June 2010

The historic market town of Thame makes for a popular midsummer fast and flat 10k road race. The course cuts into the centre of the town before passing out the other side and picking up the Phoenix trail – a comparatively narrow and straight track – taking runners back through to the finish line.

The route of the Thame 10k

The course is predominantly flat, with only a couple of sections not on road - or road-quality - ground.

I ran this race in 2009, while I was eying up my goal of running a sub-40 10k. The first kilometer is sufficiently downhill that the heady combination of adrenaline from the starter’s gun and push from gravity set me off at an unsustainable speed that was quickly knocked out of my legs.

The course is not sheltered, in any way shape or form, which is something to keep in mind considering it’s the middle of the summer. While there are no guarantees of good weather, last year’s fierce heat resulted in a number of people suffering from heat stroke or exhaustion. For 2010 there are two water stations – one more than 2009 – which is presumably in response to the previous year’s conditions and feedback on Runner’s World for more water.

The race itself, with a limit of 1000 competitors, is large enough to keep it competitive without running long stretches on your own but small enough not to suffer from bottlenecks. It also has a tapered start, with pens for runners expecting different finishing times, which helps ease congestion immediately after the starter’s orders. However, bear in mind when arriving for the race (which starts early – 9:30 prompt for the 10k), that you should expect traffic jams on the approach to the parking (of which there is plenty).

Sponsored by CPM – one of Thame’s largest employers, a field marketing company that specializes in promoting products and services for a range of different businesses – the race provides a packed goody bag. I suspect that the race itself might qualify as a field marketing event, with a few promotional goodies thrown in for good measure. Alas, I haven’t had a chance to open my New Zealand Lamb Happy Families game from last year just yet…

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