Ricky makes light work of Kielder
After a difficult 2011 Ricky Lightfoot turned in one of the performances of his career to win the Salomon Kielder Marathon in Northumberland on Sunday in challenging weather conditions…
In a year which has seen Ricky struggle with injury, the 27-year old’s season highlights had been a third place finish in the Olympus Marathon and a recent third position overall with partner Tom Owens at the Trans Rockies Race. They say that form is temporary and class is permanent however, and this was perfectly illustrated as he romped to a 10 minute win over GB international ultra runner Marcus Scotney.
Ricky’s winning time of 2:35:16 for the full marathon distance can be put into perspective when compared to the course record of 2.29.10 held by Zak Kihara from Kenya – who himself is a 2.12 ‘city marathon’ runner.
The women’s race was won by Jane Moody, coming through strongly at 22 miles to overtake long-time leader Lucie Custance.
Following his imperious performance Ricky commented:
“That was a lot tougher than I expected. Looking at the course profile beforehand I expected it to be rolling, but there we climbs where I really had to dig in. It’s true that I am used to a lot more ascent and descent in races, and I am used to the technical aspects, but this was my first ‘marathon’ so it was unknown territory for me really.”
Speaking about his front-running tactics, he said:
“The course was really enjoyable, and even though it was a bit wet out there it wasn’t cold, so I could really get into my running early. I wanted to get a good strong pace going from the off and after about 50 metres realised that no one was really going to come with me, so it was head down and see what happens from there on!”
Head down it certainly was for the Cumbrian firefighter, as he simply ran away from the field. Going through halfway in 1.15.05 Ricky then settled in the tougher second half of the course and even had time to enjoy the beauty of his surroundings, concluding:
“It was misty and damp, but I still had time to enjoy the course. I am sure that on a dry and clear day this must be one of the most beautiful marathons anywhere in the world, and even though it was wet out there the support was great out on the course, especially in the Dam area, where you really needed it in the last third of the race”.
Full results can be found at the Winning Time website.
After a short break Ricky now heads to Malaysia for the Skyrunner Super Cup 2011 and the Kinabalu Climbathon race, on the 23rd of October.