GALLERY: Runners fill Molineux for Wolverhampton 10k

People from across the Midlands laced up their trainers and headed to Molineux as the football ground hosted the Wolverhampton 10k run.

Runners cross the starting line at Molineux
Runners cross the starting line at Molineux

While the rest of the city was quiet on Mother's Day, Molineux was buzzing as people ran a circuit which started and finished inside the Wolves football ground.

Molineux saw many groups of loved ones and friends take part in the 10k together, including married couple, Gemma and Paul Chafer from Bridgnorth.

Gemma was also waiting at the finish line for Paul to finish, having pipped her 52-year-old husband to the post.

Runners cross the starting line at Molineux Stadium.
The brand new Wolverhampton 10k run started at Molineux Stadium.
The brand new Wolverhampton 10k run started at Molineux Stadium.

The 37-year-old hairdresser said: "I took to the streets running during lockdown. The race was great, it was very well organised. I'm not into football but Wolves is my closest team.

"I was supposed to do the Chester Zoo run but it was cancelled because of emergency work that had to take place at the zoo.

"I'm planning on doing the Cheltenham half marathon in June and the London Marathon in October."

The 10k was a great way for many people to get back into the running game, including 52-year-old IT contractor Neil Jefferson from Telford, who was also running in Shrewsbury a fortnight ago.

Steve Worthy, Jamie Milner and Richard Bayley from Wolverhampton
Donna Vickers from Telford and Emma Gamble from Market Drayton
Katie Mannington and Pippa Taylor from Kingswinford

Neil said: "The Wolves 10k is so much better than Shrewsbury's. I normally run half marathons, but I signed up two weeks ago to see if I could really run a 10k post-Covid. I always had it in my sights.

"It was quite daunting, but now I hope my mind can tell me I can do it and I can do a half marathon again."

Emily Thompson, Ellie Rogers, Graz Leonowicz, Kuldip Khela, Andrew Rogers all from Wolverhampton.
Tina Maguire, Janice Wainwright and Colleen Hammersley from Wolverhampton.
Steve and Karen Stoddart and Ian Barrow from Telford

Peter Harrison, aged 20 and from Wolverhampton, ran the 10k to raise money for Samaritan's, as he is a volunteer for their helpline.

He said: "This is my first event - it's a shorter run so you've got to keep pace.

"The atmosphere was great, there was a guy with a drum cheering us on half-way through."

Wolverhampton 10k run took place on Sunday
Wolverhampton 10K
Wolverhampton 10k run took place on Sunday

Teams of runners crossed the finish line back at Molineux to crowds of people cheering and shaking musical instruments, holding flowers and cameras.

And 31-year-old accountant Hermione Green, believed to be the first woman to cross the finish line, was buoyed by the cheers.

Hermione, from Lichfield, said: "There was lots of support at the stadium, and people were even coming out of their houses to cheer us on."

Physical routines have fluctuated drastically over the last few years due to the pandemic, and many of the race's runners picked up running as a hobby during lockdown.

This is how Kingswinford's The Freelance Runners club came to be, with routes organised by David Colley and meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Stourbridge-based The Freelance Runners club
Wolverhampton 10k run took place on Sunday
Wolverhampton 10k run took place on Sunday

Linda Harper, a 46-year-old design and technology teacher from Kingswinford, belongs to the group which had around 15 members running the Wolverhampton 10k.

Linda said: "The group came into fruition through lockdown when you could only run on your own or with one other person.

"So we'd run on our own or with someone else but do it on Zoom so we could keep each other motivated.

"It really helped me through the first lockdown because I hadn't been running in a while and I don;t like running on my own, so while I was technically running on my own, I had other people talking to me in my ears.

"It's impacted me massively because there's no pressure, it's more of a community group."

The brand new Wolverhampton 10k run started at Molineux Stadium.
Runners crossing the starting line

One mother and daughter from Oxford even did the Mother's Day race together.

Waiting at the finish line for her mum was Holly Rees-Lay, a 25-year-old Master's student in sport nutrition. Her mum, 52-year-old Catherine Rees-Lay, had convinced her to do the race.

Holly said: "My mum told me to do it because she didn't want to do it on her own. She took up running five years ago because I had for a fairly random reason - I started skiing so I also started running to get fit.

"I actually left mum behind," Holly joked, "so a happy Mother's Day to her! We might go out for lunch now to celebrate."

As people reunited with their loved ones with flushed faces and grins, the football ground was a site of celebration for all.

Every participant received a themed medal, free official race photos, chip time results and post-race snacks.

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