The Notts 10 began in 1972 with a small group of relatively uncompetitive road runners, when the typical 10 mile race would only attract about 60 runners. The “jogging boom” in the early 80s saw numbers rise in to the hundreds and sometimes thousands in some races.
The initial planning for the Notts 10 began in The Wheelhouse cocktail bar on Trowell Road, after a Tuesday night group club training session. The runners would often compete in other 10 mile races, such as Cambridge, Coventry, Kettering, etc., and thought it would be a good idea to create their own.
The very first race almost didn’t happen due to a large misunderstanding: after agreement from the police and Highways Department, volunteer Bill Hayes set out with his artist’s kit to paint the mile markers on the road (it was considered a better idea than pieces of paper taped to lamp posts!), and was caught in the act by the Chairman of the Highways Department himself, who then threatened to stop the event! Needless to say, the scrubbing brushes came out, and all went ahead as planned.
The race was always attractive as a “runners’ race”, with a low entry fee (50p entry for many years!) and a long prize list. It was never a race intended to raise profit, and often saw a small loss. Numbers increased throughout the years with an attendance of 92 in 1980, improving to 306 in 1982. However, numbers then began to decline during the later 80s, due to a large amount of running clubs being set up. They began to create their own events, and the large saturation of races meant that the Notts 10 was just one among many.
Harvey Hadden Stadium was a perfect place to start and finish the race while runners numbered about 60-70, making full use of the Clubhouse and facilities. However, a track start was not possible in the following years when runners were beginning to number 100 plus.
The rapid increase in traffic meant that in 1988 the search for a new course was on. Holme Pierrepont was chosen as the new venue for 1989; a long course with a short stretch of quiet public road. It is a very flat course, and in the right circumstances, such as a windless day, some very fast times have been recorded. A huge advantage to Holme Pierrepont is that is it also virtually traffic free!
The course was changed in 2011, when the race was held for the first time on a Sunday, in order to avoid the wooden bridges around Holme Pierrepont. The race saw its 40th anniversary in 2011, and continues to be an attractive race to runners, with large turnouts now numbering almost 400 entrants.
Past sponsors have included Speedo, Raleigh, Crookes Healthcare, A & B Windows, Lin Print, Hawthorne’s Printers, Sampson, Polycasa, and Plastics Plus. The Notts 10 is currently sponsored by Hoka One One & Nottingham Brewery.
Information taken from “Notts 10: The First Twenty Years” edited by John Burney & Simon Elliott.
Simon Elliott, race organiser 1988-1991, in 1986 Notts 10
Notts 10 6th June 2014, Holme Pierrepont
1984 Notts 10 (L-R) P. Orton (Burton AC) 2nd, Kevin Lomas (Charnwood AC) 1st, Graham Dugdale (TVH) 3rd, Mick Palmer (Notts AC) 4th.