Wymeswold Duck Race, Waddle and Fun Run 2009

Jez James, Nick Wells and Keith Humphrey

Wymeswold's famous Duck Races and Waddle were staged on Sunday 17th May, and the odd rain shower didn't dampen the spirits of the crowds who turned up to enjoy the running races and the spectacle of duck racing on the village brook.

The day started at 10.30am with the third running of the ‘Wymeswold Waddle', a five-mile running race from the village to Six Hills and back organised by the Wymeswold Running Club. Last year the race attracted 280 runners, but this year the organisers were rewarded with over 300 entrants, with over fifty coming from the village, many from local running clubs and others from further afield including one runner all the way from France.

The men's race was won by Paul Richardson from Seagrave who smashed the course record by over two minutes with a time of 24 minutes and 46 seconds. Meanwhile Tara Krzywicki from the Charnwood Running Club also broke the ladies' course record as she was victorious in the women's race, recording a time of 27 minutes and 30 seconds.

The first Wymeswold runner home was 15-year-old Harry Bowley with a time of 30 minutes and 40 seconds, while Jo Collington was the first Wymeswold woman crossing the line with a time of 40 minutes and 53 seconds. Five members of the Wymeswold Running Club managed to complete the course wearing over-all duck costumes.

Following the Waddle, the inaugural Wymeswold Fun Run got underway at 11.30am with over 170 entrants, including many families running together and children as young as three taking on the 2-kilometre course. The winner was 13-year-old Phillip Maddocks, and Kimberley Jalland from Willoughby-on-the-Wolds was the first girl home.

The prizes were presented by Jo Healey from BBC East Midlands, who has recently moved to the area with her family.

All the Waddle runners were presented with a souvenir T-shirt to commemorate their day in Wymeswold, and the fun runners all received a goody bag.

Many of the runners and their families then stayed on for the Wymeswold Duck Races, which got underway at 12.30pm.

There were five betting races on the River Mantle in front of the Windmill pub, including an obstacle race when children took their shoes and socks off to stand in the brook for the ducks to swim around. The public could win money trying to forecast which duck would win each race, and the children's ‘Puddleduck Regatta' organized by Wymeswold Playgroup attracted over 200 entries.

Live music was provided by the village residents Charlie Bailey and Nicci Keeling in the form of the ‘Sitting Ducks', who played acoustic folk numbers. There was also entertainment from a new village ensemble called ‘Shut Up Me Ducks' comprising Nicci Keeling, Sarah Sturmey, Gail Stiven, Sarah Isherwood, Angela Dunton and Helen Shaw.

Proceeds from Wymeswold Duck Races will be distributed amongst local clubs and community projects.

Report by Nick Shaw, photos by Dave Keeling.