The race route was (and still is) largely along the leafy lanes and quiet roads of High Legh.
Initially with a field limit of 200, a committed team of volunteer organisers, friendly marshals and supporters, the 10K race established itself as a gem in the North West’s running calendar. The event consistently attracted rave reviews on running forums. In 2010 the High Legh Robert Moffat Memorial Race was voted Best Small Run in Britain in a Runner’s World editorial.
Since 2008 the race has seen many developments:
- The course now starts and ends at the local primary school where the school building and grounds provide a fantastic race HQ.
- Aside from offering a warm (and dry!) welcome for runners’ registration, the school base means that the PTA can provide an amazing spread of goodies and refreshments for runners and supporters.
- In 2012 Lymm Runners were invited to become joint organisers of the event; they brought run event experience, commitment and additional volunteers (and quite a number of club runners!)
- Over the years the field limit has grown from 200 to 650, chip timing has been introduced and every year there are minor tweaks and improvements to ensure the safety and convenience of all participants.
The event is organised by a large army of volunteers who commit their time and support to ensure the success of the event. Proceeds go to back to the local community; namely the High Legh Community Association (registered charity no 511391) and Lymm Runners (local volunteer-led running club).
Every event needs its champions; individuals with vision and drive and great reserves of energy who can make things happen.
The High Legh 10K was originally set up from scratch by the then vicar’s son, James Cavanagh, who had a lifetime interest in Robert Moffatt and running. His aim was to create the best small race in the North West. When James had to step down, it was the treasurer of the Community Association, Tim Pearce, who led the way and kept the event on the calendar.
The High Legh Community Association and Lymm Runners – and the thousands of runners who have taken part over the years – applaud them.
Why the Robert Moffat Memorial Race?
Robert Moffat (1795-1883) was a young Scotsman who worked as an estate gardener in High Legh. He went on to become a famous missionary for 50 years in Kuruman, South Africa. A road in the village is named after him and the original race started and ended near it. Today, the road named Robert Moffatt remains an essential part of the High Legh 10k route.
For more information visit the Wikipedia entry for Robert Moffat.
In recent years some of Robert Moffatt’s descendants discovered the race and took part as competitors. This grew until in 2013 over 20 descendants either ran the race or were supporters. Their eldest member, Malcolm Moffatt, travelled from Edinburgh to present the prizes and take part in a ceremony after the race to unveil a commemorative panel to Robert Moffatt at the Northwood Centre, High Legh (pictured).