Entries for the Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding Run on Sunday have completely sold out as record numbers prepare themselves for 10 kilometres over a brand new course held within Shipley Country Park.
The traditional Matthew Walker Christmas pudding will once again be up for grabs for all finishers of the Heanor Running Club-hosted event and Race Director, Rob Rainsford, is delighted with the response as all one thousand numbers have been snapped up with ten days to spare.
“We’re really pleased with the level of support for the new course this year,” said Rainsford. “A real club effort has gone into making the day happen and we’re hoping the planning and preparation will make it a memorable experience for all the runners.”
The race sold out its 1000-allocation just three days before race-day twelve months ago but demand for a spot in one of Derbyshire’s largest road race events has been hot this year despite the change of course for the event’s 28th-year.
Following a substantial mid-summer storm that left many parts of Bell Lane completely unrunnable, questions were raised over the viability of the Bell Lane stretch and much work subsequently went on behind-the-scenes over the last few months to devise a suitable route.
Gone is the long uphill past Heanor Gate Science College, the road stretch through Smalley and the Bell Lane finish and in its place is a course that still starts and finishes in the same place – and heads out past Matthew Walker HQ – but then returns for a more scenic route set mostly within the grounds of Shipley Country Park.
“Bell Lane took up such a large section of the old course that we couldn’t hang around and wait to hear if and when it might be repaired,” explained Rainsford.
“We’re pleased with the new course though and hope the runners will feel the same. We believe it has the potential to be faster – and it’s certainly more scenic – and are looking forward to seeing what people think.”