Report by Stuart Pender
Four Ripon runner headed to Otley to run the 10 mile race, a great run, very well organised and some running socks and a bottle of Saltaire Blonde for all finishers.
Despite the poor weather during the day the rain stopped for the start at 7.30pm. The race is all on pavements or roads with a couple of killer climbs just to check the heart and lungs out. All four were very close together with the following times:
Andrew Harker 1.22.48
Stuart Pender 1.23.30
Jane Grundy 1.23.33
Anne Cheeseman 1.25.44
A great race and well worth a go.
Devils Foot Half Marathon, Melrose
Report by Jackie Scott
I travelled back to my home town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders for the Trail Outlaws Devils Foot Half Marathon. The route from Lauder to Melrose was along the undulating Southern Upland Way towards Gattonside in warm conditions. I then followed the beautiful River Tweed towards the Melrose Chain Bridge where I crossed the river and continued on to the small village of Newstead with the looming Eildon Hills beyond.
The climb from Newstead was tough with the recent rain making that section of the hill very muddy. Family awaited with moral support which was an added bonus and much appreciated as fatigue was setting in. As an added bit of fun, the paths up the Eildon itself were blocked with boulders for restoring the paths, so I had to climb over rock and heather.
Loosing all enthusiasm I decided to walk, but found myself completely exhausted and unable to continue. Deciding not to worry about my finish time and just getting round the route I stopped and rested half way up whilst watching others do the same.
I and the rest of the runners reached the summit whilst encouraging each other and glad to have persevered with gaining 1000ft in 0.5 mile. All that was left was a mile run downhill into Melrose to the finish line with waiting family in a time of 3 hours 15 minutes.
Hardmoors White Horse
Sunday saw the 3rd trail marathon of the year for Hardmoors. As always Hardmoors offer three distances of full marathon, half and 10k but as is expected these are always longer than advertised. The courses are challenging and start and finish at the Visitors Centre at Sutton Bank. The full marathon and 10k include a descent to Lake Gormire and then a climb back up to the Cleveland Way to continue the races.
Three Ripon Runners completed the full marathon route, which was in fact 27.3 miles with 4200ft of climb. Results are as followed:
Claire Baker 5:52
Lena Conlin 6:15
Kim Holden 6:19
There were also three Ripon Runners who completed the 10k route. This was actually 7.1 miles. First back was Kathryn Smith in 1:31 followed by Linda Cadman and Nicole Sutton in 1:41 with Linda taking 2 minutes off her time last year and claiming the FV60 prize.
South Downs Way
Matthew Holt completed the South Downs Way race, which started at 6am on Saturday. The race is 100 miles taking in the entire South Downs Way National Trail with rolling hills, ancient forts, picturesque villages and expansive views across Southern England. The race had 400 entries, of which 305 finished. Matthew completed the race in an amazing 25 hours 25 minutes to finish 185th overall, 165th Male and 87th in his age category. Matt’s race report is below:
I was among 400 runners who competed at the South Downs 100 mile race at the weekend, the route starts in Winchester and finishes in Eastbourne. The race is one of a few worldwide that are selected as a qualifier race of the Western States 100, a race held every year in America and made famous in Scott Jurek’s book Eat & Run. Since reading that book, I’ve always fancied having a go, so hence the reason for travelling South. I also quite fancied seeing a different part of the country.
The course starts with a 3 mile lap of Matterley Bowl (a natural amphitheatre) and surrounding estate, and is where General Eisenhower addressed American troops before setting off for D-Day landings. The course then joined the official national trail of the South Downs Way. With 85% of the course on trails, the ground was quite soft and muddy for most of the first half due to rain from the previous few days. This was nice as the feet were protected from the hardness of a bone-dry path, plus we had a really heavy downpour around 12pm, which had most of us reaching for our waterproof jackets. After that, the course had dried out, and you could feel the impact on your feet in the last 20 miles.
I couldn’t have started or finished without Jill. She supported me and had to endure a 7 hour drive (accidents on A1 etc delayed our progress) on the Friday to get to Winchester, she was with me for most of Saturday while I ran, and then grabbed a few hours sleep before driving me back from Eastbourne on Sunday. As with most long distance runs, the support crew make all the difference. While on the course, Jill would run out to meet me, then would run back to prepare fresh clothing to change in to or prep food and drink. just knowing someone is waiting for you at the next station is a real lift. I was pleased with the overall race, I set out with just to finish within the 30 hour cutoff (as I always do over this distance as nothing can be taken for granted), but was really happy with a sub 26 hour finish (my time was 25 hours 25 minutes) which was a target time of mine.
In all the course had 12700 foot of ascent, not as hilly as a lot of 100 milers, but enough… especially the last two climbs which came in the last 15 miles. These started off quite steep but then just continued as a gentle incline for almost 1.5 to 2 miles each in total. When I did a recce of the last 36 miles in March, the majority of these inclines were runnable, but not for me on race day with 85 miles in my legs. If you want to experience similar terrain but more locally, I would recommend the Hardwolds 80 race which covers the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
The race is organised by Centurion Running, and the set up from registration to finish is excellent. They look after the runners really well, with quick check in for numbers to 13 aid stations along the way. Each station has a wide variety of drinks including water / orange juice / tailwind / coke and then tea and coffee from midway point. The food options are great too with sandwiches, wraps, melon, banana, orange, chocolate, crisps, etc. The thing I liked was the fresh fruit, which is not easy to keep in an edible state while carrying it in a race vest over a long time. I would recommend there races to anyone looking for a change of scenery and for an event that is professionally run.
Scafell Sky Race
Report by Gary Bastow
Alex Fawcett, Joe Lofthouse and I ran the Scafell Sky Race from Old Dungeon Gill in Langdale. It’s a 40k race with 3500 meters of ascent. The day was typical lakes weather with driving rain and high winds. The route, over Harrison Stickle in the Landales, Green and Great Gable and the side of Scafell was a great challenge. There were 267 entries. The technical sections were extremely sheer and the rocks like ice with the wet – all of us coming to grief in amongst them at certain points.
Alex finished in 6h 19 48th
Joe in 6h 36m 67th
Gary Bastow in 6h 54m. 91s
There was a climb segment going up a two and a half mile hill onto Green Gable for a prize of which Alex got second.