Where does the time go! I can’t believe that we are now looking at the 9th running of the Gloucester 10k. It has only been possible due to the great support of the Gloucester and surrounding communities and authorities who have backed the idea and supported the race brilliantly.
Some of you will be aware of the background to the involvement of myself and my company, others may not be. In 2013 a commercial organisation organised the Gloucester 10k. It took place in February and wasn’t helped by appalling weather. The route consisted of Bristol Road, Cole Avenue and Stroud Road and those living between were effectively trapped in their homes for the duration of the race. There was traffic chaos and not surprisingly there were many complaints from the public.
This seemed a massive shame. The organisers pulled out and Gloucester was left without a race. The Citizen took up the cudgel and basically suggested that surely we could run our own event in Gloucester. They asked if anyone was interested in exploring the possibility of setting up an alternative event. Being like them a major Believer In Gloucester I said I was happy to get involved. The next thing I knew I was Race Director.
Davies and Partners Solicitors were prepared to back me and I was ably supported by my colleague and fellow runner Jude Rodrigues. The next thing was developing the concept and a potential route. I wanted to show off Gloucester as a city that we could all be proud of and that meant incorporating as many landmarks as possible. The Cathedral, the Docks, the Quays and the canal towpath all made the cut. It would have been good if Kingsholm could have made the cut too but logistically it was too challenging. Having said that it can be spotted from the route!
The next challenge was to persuade some very sceptical authorities that we could have a successful Gloucester 10k within the City. That scepticism was not surprising given the ear bashing they had received following the previous year’s run. Once the idea had been explained and tested everyone was on board and very supportive. I found it amazing how many different landowners and other organisations have a real interest in the centre of Gloucester.
Then we needed people to make the event happen. There were many different organisations who we approached and were happy to assist from all parts of the Gloucester community. It was really important to us that we built a community event for the community to take part in, to showcase Gloucester and for the community to also benefit from.
The sources of support were diverse, but we could not have run the event without the wholly committed support of Gloucester Quays Rotary which agreed to buy into the event and organise the course set up and on course marshalling and have continued to do so ever since.
It was also really important to us that any surpluses made on the event went back into the Gloucester community and following the seven events to date we have been able to contribute approximately £60,000 to local charities.
The event hasn’t always gone altogether smoothly, we have had toilets arriving after the runners have started which even caused the leader of Gloucester City Council to divert into a café on route! We have also had the bridge operator lifting the bridge whilst the event was already underway and had to divert the route at the last moment after some emergency building works were started two days before the event. All part of the challenges of running an event in a vibrant city. Throughout this we have had great support from the Gloucester community and both experienced runners and those for whom completing a 10k is a major challenge. For that support we are extremely grateful.
I am also extremely grateful for my company Davies and Partners Solicitors supporting the event. The business was founded in Barnwood, Gloucester over 30 years ago. Whilst it has steadily grown and we now have offices in Birmingham, Bristol and London as well as Gloucester the City of Gloucester remains our spiritual home and I am extremely proud to head our Gloucester office. We seek to provide practical and down to earth legal advice to both businesses and individuals and seek to be lawyers who are prepared to run the extra mile.
I hope that you enjoy the race.
Head of Davies and Partners Gloucester | Race Director and Chair Tewkesbury Running Club