Big Running Weekend enjoys huge success
Billed as a festival weekend of trail and ultra running, the Big Running Weekend lived up to expectations this Bank Holiday weekend as Marcus Scotney, Sula Gay and Rob Little were amongst the winners across the ultra, trail and 10k races…
With Ultra Tour of the Peak District, the 12.12 race, 10k and guest speakers sessions all on offer, there was plenty to keep runners and spectators alike interested.
Event press releases from the weekend’s activities
The Big Running Weekend, Sheffield, took to the start line on Friday night with the BIG Running Expo and Extreme Runner’s Talks inspiring and entertaining an audience of around 120 runners and supporters attending the inaugural BIG Running Weekend – A Festival of Off-road Running.
Speakers included Darryl Wootton, runner in the Elite Class of Marathon Des Sables this year; Stuart Walker, who ran across the Alps in 34 days earlier this year; and Nicky Spinks – holder of the fastest ladies Bob Graham Round Record (18hrs 12 mins).
They were later joined by Jason Ward, Marcus Scotney and Julian Lings to form a panel of expert runners taking questions from the floor – covering everything from drug testing in trail and ultra running through to favourite races and time spent training per week.
The panel shared stories about the strangest things they’ve encountered on the trail – which included planes crash landing, lost walkers and curious horses.
Inspired by the tales, 50 or so ultra runners lined up at the start for the inaugural New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District which started at 08:00 on Saturday in damp conditions, though the forecast suggests that the sun will shine later in the day.
The New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District was won by Marcus Scotney. This inaugural 56.5 mile Ultra was a closely fought race across the Peak District National Park. With Accelerate-sponsored Stuart Walker, taking second place.
The 56.5mile race started at 8am on Sunday 26th August with 50 runners leaving Whirlow Hall Farm on the edge of Sheffield to head across the Peak District’s undulating landscape taking in key features such as Stanage Edge, Derwent, Ladybower and Kinder Scout with 2722 metres of ascent this ultra challenge is no easy undertaking.
Marcus Scotney finished in 9hours 19minutes 23seconds ahead of second place runner Stuart Walker, from Sheffield who finished just over 20minutes later in 9hours 41minutes 21seconds.
Marcus Scotney has represented England 4 times at 100Km including the Commonwealth 100Km Championships in 2009. He was also part of Team GB at the World and European 100Km Championship and finished 5th in the recent Anglo Celtic Plate Race (100Km). Marcus used to live in Sheffield and run with the Dark Peak Fell Runners, though is currently residing in Dumfries and Galloway.
Marcus won the prestigious Ultra Tour of the Peak District Trophy, £200 Cash (courtesy of New Balance), New Balance Running Shoe of choice, Nathan Hydration Minimist Vest, 2 Pairs of Injinji Toe Socks and Entry to next year’s New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District.
The finishers continued to cross the line into Monday and were sure of a hearty cheer from marshals, supporters and other competitors as they enter the BIG Barn at Whirlow Hall Farm to relax in the Chill Out Zone.
The BIG Running Weekend 12.12 Trail Race was won by Rob Little of Dark Peak Fell Runners in a sprint finish. This inaugural 12.12 mile Trail Race had been one of the highlights of the inaugural BIG Running Weekend, attracting a number of elite runners.
The 12.12 race started at 10.12 on Sunday 26th August with 145 runners leaving Whirlow Hall Farm on the edge of Sheffield to head out into the Peak District National Park and towards Burbage Moor.
A combination of speed and navigational skill was required by the winner to successfully complete this fast and punishing course. The top three runners were vying for lead position throughout the race with Sheffield’s Rob Little leading Accelerate-sponsored athlete’s Stuart Bond and Chris Shelton (both from Chesterfield)at Ringinglow, but Chris Shelton had taken the lead at Burbage North End ahead of Stuart and Rob.
A final push by Rob Little led to a sprint finish with just 9 seconds between the men as they crossed the line. Rob Little finished in 1.23.31; Chris Shelton: 1.23.35; Stuart Bond: 1.23.40.
The first lady, Sula Gay, from Edinburgh crossed the line in 1:38.08.
The runners described the event as “hard and muddy but very, very enjoyable” and “more of a hill race than a trail race” and “just brilliant”. The typically British Bank Holiday weather helped keep the runners cool, which had around 633 metres of ascent to be tackled across its 12.12 miles.
The BIG Running Weekend 10K Trail Race has been won by Olly Johnson (Dark Peak Fell Runners) in a time of 39min 24sec.
The course record stood at 39min 39sec and was held by Darren King. The race was fast from the off with Accelerate-Sponsored Athlete, Tom Saville (also of Dark Peak Fell Runners) hot on Olly’s heels from the off.
The 10K Trail Race has previously run in the guise of the Whirlow Farm Fayre 10K but this year has formed part of the inaugural BIG Running Weekend.
The 10K race started at 11.30am on Monday 27th August with around 170 runners leaving Whirlow Hall Farm on the edge of Sheffield to head towards the Peak District National Park for some stunning views back over the City of Sheffield.
This fast trail race is well regarded as one of the events on the must do list for local runners – providing a good opportunity for those keen to get off the road and onto the trail over a short distance.
The fastest female was Helen Elmore (Dark Peak Fell Runners) who finished in a time of 44min 32sec. The female course record was held by Jess Fawcett (48.42).
Olly Johnson doesn’t normally compete over the 10K distance, generally opting for longer events – this year he’s been enjoying the Championship Fell Races and Lakeland Classics. The fast finish in the BIG Running Weekend 10K brought Tom Saville in less than a minute behind Olly at 40min 13sec and third place Martin Bishop at 40min 36sec.
The BIG Running Weekend was generously sponsored by Peterman’s Fork Lift Trucks and has been brought to life by Whirlow Hall Farm and Accelerate – the UK’s Ultimate Running Store.