The Original, and some say ‘best’!

Posted in At the Races on Thu 27 Oct ’11

© somewhere-in-the-between.

Yes, it’s OMM time again. The ‘original’ mountain marathon is literally that, and this weekend’s event hits the highlands of Scotland, for a return to big hills and rugged climbs…

© www.theomm.com

The OMM always produces worthy winners, and has a role call of past winners that includes some of the best mountain runners that the UK has produced. It’s also considered the one to have on your resume of completed events if you are into multi-day, navigation based racing.

Founded 1968 the OMM is the originator of the 2 day mountain marathon type event and is for teams of 2, carrying all clothing, equipment, tent, sleeping bag, food for 36 hours, navigating one’s own route and including an overnight camp. Teams are totally self supporting, no GPS or outside support is allowed and teams NOT arriving at the the overnight camp are assumed to have camped safely.Your team partner is your first source of help and assistance.

© John Brooke / LAMM

The winners at the 2010 LAMM

Last year’s event was won by Andy and Joe Symonds , stealing the win from mountain marathon specialists Jethro Lennox and Steve Birkinshaw, who won in 2009. Jethro and Steve are back for more, and this time round should face more strong opposition as the start list has a number of top-quality pairings in there.

Oli Johnson / Rob Baker, Tom Owens / Oleg Chepelin, Jez Bragg / Matt Giles and Andy Fallas / Sam Hesling to name but a few. For a super extensive preview you could do worse than check out Nic Barber’s blog

Start lists are here and you can follow the event over the weekend via Twitter too…

Gardiner returns to ‘Britain’s toughest’…

Posted in At the Races on Thu 27 Oct ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Richie Gardiner

We realise that the Snowdonia Marathon isn’t exactly off road. But it does have two long sections of mountain path on it’s route, is renowned at Britain’s toughest and this year has a host of top fell runners in the elite field…

© Colin Paxton

The 2010 start

Event release

Top UK marathon assembles top class field, as Gardiner returns to defend title

2000 runners will take to the start line this Saturday for the 29th running of the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri, one of the UK’s most iconic and toughest marathons. The record number of competitors will this year include perhaps the strongest line-up of elite distance runners to have graced this classic event, as last year’s champion and course record holder Richie Gardiner returns at defend his crown he so brilliantly won in 2010.

Gardiner’s 2010 time of 2:36:24 proved to be the fastest for 15 years. As runners aim to beat the Aberdare man’s time, the new course finish in the High St, will ensure that the battle for the finish has a suitably dramatic arena in which to be fought.

After his stunning victory for Wales at the Commonwealth Ultra Trail Championships on Anglesey in September, the South Wales policeman has recovered sufficiently to take to the line in Llanberis.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Richies Gardiner takes the title

Richie comments:

“I was proud to win the race in 2010. As a Welshman it’s a real honour to win such a classic event even once. Last year’s race left a lasting mark on me and I just had to return this year to defend my title! Winning the gold at the Commonwealth’s took a fair bit out of me, but I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon last week to see where I was at and came through that pretty well, so I am raring to go in Snowdonia again.”

He concludes

“There are some great names on the Snowdonia Marathon trophy with many who have won it multiple times, and after my victory last year I’d like to add my name to that list of multiple winners”.

One man looking to upset Gardiner’s plans with be 2011 Snowdon Race runner-up Murray Strain. The Scot is in fine form in 2011 and has been targeting the event since the turn of the year. A GB international orienteer, Strain should relish the route and his strength on the mountains coupled with his redoubtable road speed should mean that he will be a big threat to Gardiner.

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Murray Strain leads Jones into the last mile

Another Welsh international looking to do well will be Andy Davies, from Newtown. The mid-Wales man was recent silver medalist in the Commonwealth trail event, which Gardiner won, and with his ability on the mountains and huge reserves of strength in longer events, Davies is an exciting addition to the elite line-up.

Local runners to watch are led by Welsh international Rob Samuel, the runner-up in 2008. The Bangor-based Eryri Harrier recently represented Great Britain at the World Mountain Running Championships and was a superb 5th at the recent Commonwealth Mountain championships in Llanberis. After a year of injury issues Rob is now running strongly and will be looking to update his Snowdonia marathon PB and mix it with the lead runners.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Rob Samuel

Other strong local interest come in the shape of Eryri’s Math Roberts (5th in 2009 and 2010), Iain Ridgway and Dylan Wyn Jones, all Welsh international representatives themselves.

After two years of runner-up positions local Welsh international mountain and trail runner Andrea Rowlands will be hoping that she can go one better in 2011 by landing the Snowdonia Marathon women’s crown. Rowlands has been in excellent form in 2011, running to 5th place at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and was also a recent competitor at the Commonwealth trail event.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Andrea Rowlands

Others to watch in the women’s event are former runner-up Ruth Johnstone and Lisa Grantham, who ran to third in the recent Chester Marathon setting a personal best of 3:08 in the process.

The 2010 saw the unpredictable Snowdonia weather take hold with torrential rain, thunder and hail storms all adding to the spice of the event, which is regarded as the toughest and most scenic in the UK. After three years of high winds and heavy rain the organisers will be hopeful of some respite for the runners – who come from 14 countries – this year.

XC news…

Posted in At the Races on Wed 26 Oct ’11

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

The weather looks like it has finally turned this week in the UK and as the leaves turn brown and fall away, the ground turns heavier and the wind starts to blow, cross country runners up and down the country can finally run some proper XC!

Leagues are all well underway, with some seasoned athletes starting to don their spikes and stretch their winter legs. England Athletics has announced its selection policy for the forthcoming winter season, including some European action.

© www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk

Expect some fireworks at the English XC relays on the 5th of November, and the McCain UK Cross Challenge gets underway in a couple of weeks in Bristol, which should see the coming together of some big guns for the first time.

UTMB recognises UTSW

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Wed 26 Oct ’11

© www.endurancelife.com

Top coastal events co. Endurance Life have announced that their new ultra-trail event the UTSW will be a qualifier for the UTMB in 2013 – giving finishers 4 of the 5 points that they need to be considered for the big French event…

The Ultra-Trail South West has been officially recognised as a qualifying event for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). Successful completion of the 60 mile category qualifies for 3 points, and the 100 mile category secures 4 (the maximum for a single qualifying event).

More here

© www.endurancelife.com

Reactions so far
  1. Nick
    Oct 26, 03:10 PM

    Sounds like a fantastic event, but you need a minimum of 5 points to even enter the UTMB lottery these days, so saying “the full 4 points that they need to be considered” is a little misleading.

  2. Matt MST
    Oct 26, 03:17 PM

    Thanks Nick, have adjusted that.

    Matt

Karnazes – “Kids love to run, get them out there!”

Posted in Through the Lens on Wed 26 Oct ’11

In a half-term week in the UK when mums and dads are looking for things for their offspring to do, ultra legend Dean Karnazes is pushing to get more kids out in the fresh air…

Ultra marathon runner “Dean Karnazes”: took the time for a pit-stop at the Good Morning Atlanta studios on his way to The North Face Endurance Challenge at Pine Mountain. Dean started running at the age of 6 and feels strongly about inspiring other children to do the same.

Reactions so far
  1. L3vi
    Oct 26, 02:24 PM

    I think he is still magnificent. Maybe not the fastest and the most competitive, but can run a lot, and has good humor & nice personality. Amazing athlete.

Comments closed

XC relays

Posted in At the Races on Tue 25 Oct ’11

© Bryan Mills

Aaron Scott anchors Notts to the win

Along with the Scottish championships at the weekend there were also relay champs in the Midlands, with Notts AC taking a dramatic win. Up in Scotland Inverclyde AC also caused a bit of an upset with Craig Ruddy anchoring a great win…

Bryan Mills reports from the Midlands:

At the Midland Cross Country Relay Championships it was first scalp of the winter season to the Notts AC quartet of Colin Palmer, John Muddeman, Martin Whitehouse and Aaron Scott.

Early on into the race the title appeared to be going to Coventry Godiva, but on leg 4 things changed around dramatically leaving a straight run off between Notts AC and Tipton’s Ross Jones. Jones took the advantage early on into the 2 lap 6K leg of Aston University Playing Fields, but an error by Jones, taking him off course put Aaron Scott back into contention and from there he pushed ahead to win by 6 seconds, with Coventry Godiva in third.

In the ladies race over 3 legs Birchfield were clear winners by over 3 minutes ahead of Rugby & Northampton with Charnwood in third.

Some great images now on Bryan’s facebook page, with full results here

© www.scottishathletics.org.uk

The (Scottish) National Cross Country Relay Championships returned to Cumbernauld on Saturday. The forecast was for heavy rain; however the races took place in dry but windy conditions.

Full report on Scottish Athletics here and results here

Colquhoun impresses at Ultima Frontera

Posted in At the Races on Tue 25 Oct ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Colquhoun at the recent Commonwealth champs

A highly successful, inaugural Ultima Frontera went ahead this weekend, and despite the first rain for almost 4 months in the Poniente de Granada region Spain’s Juan Ruiz and Scotland’s Lucy Colquhoun were impressive winners

© www.ultimafrontera160.com

Describing Colquhoun’s efforts Scottish Athletics reports, “Despite her extensive ultra experience over the last few years, it was the first time the Scottish and GB international had covered 100 miles in an event, joining the mythical “centurion club”.

Event director Paul Bateson takes it up, stating:

“It only went and rained, the first time for over 4 months!! But at least it stayed hot and sunny for the 2 days before when we had all the route to mark.

It was dry and grey for the Saturday start and reasonably good until late eve. Sunday was grey, some drizzle but in the afternoon the sun came out so at least the runners had a pleasant end.

I think a 15hrs 43min (Juan Carlos Cuellar Ruiz) winning time is pretty good for what a few said was a bit like a Western States, so at least I know the times to expect in next years races. It also means, I think, that anyone looking for a tough but fast 100miler is going to consider this event. Lucy had a great run, first woman and a brilliant 3rd overall.

© Facebook

Paul Bateson

We also got some great support from UKGear once again. Their shoes are very impressive and with Chris Goodacre winning the 50km race in the PT1000 nc’s that was a great advocation. They definately last well over 1000miles!

Overall I am very pleased with the event and can only urge UK ultra trail runners to come out and have a go at this next year, it has to be one of the most beautiful anywhere!

Full results are here

‘Team Snowdon’ excel in Italy

Posted in At the Races on Mon 24 Oct ’11

© Andi Jones

The trio of Andi Jones, Robbie Simpson and Murray Strain in the men’s relay race, and Pippa Maddams and Christina Rankin in the women’s individual race put on great performances over the weekend at the 52nd Trofeo Vanoni in Morbegno,,,

© www.gscsimorbegno.org

All five were ‘representatives’ of the International Snowdon Race, after finishing the respective top 3’s in July.

In the 5km women’s race Pippa Maddams ran superbly for third, after reportedly leading at the top of the climb. At barely 20 mins long, with a fast start town centre start, the race didn’t play to the 3-time British Fell Champs’ strengths. However finishing just 15 seconds down on Italy’s Alice Gaggi will no doubt be a pleasing result for the Cumbrian.

© www.sportdimontagna.com

Pippa leads early on

Young Scot Christina Rankin also had a strong race, running into 11th position just over 30 seconds back on Maddams and second in the U23 classification.

Women’s top 5
1 GAGGI ALICE – G.S. VALGEROLA – 0.22.37
2 SKALNIKOVA EVAREPUBBLICA CECA – 0.22.50
3 MADDAMS PIPPAGRAN BRETAGNASNOWDON RACE T 0.22.52
4 KOSOVELJ MATEJASLOVENIA – 0.22.54
5 WOSZCZEK DANUTAPOLONIA – 0.23.11

© Andi Jones

Pippa (left) with Christina in the Italian sunshine

In the men’s race the Jones, Strain and Simpson ran a superb race. With all three running times that were inside the 13 fastest of the day, it was left for Simpson to anchor the squad to silver, coming through from fourth at the top of the final climb.

Similar to the women’s event the course starts and finishes in the picturesque Italian town of Morbegno, and with top road man and 5 time winner of Snowdon, Andi Jones on leg one the team were guaranteed a fast start.

Jones’ time was good enough for 13th best on the day and he handed over to Murray Strain, who stormed around the 7.25 km course in 30.56 for 9th best time, putting Simpson right in contention on the final leg. The Deeside AC youngster didn’t disappoint, showing just why he is considered one of the brightest mountain running prospects in Europe with an excellent 30.53, to secure the silver for the boys in black and second fastest U23 on the day.

© Andi Jones

Robbie on the Morbegno slopes

Such was the strength of competition at this classic event this year that 2010 winners France – including Julian Rancon – had to settle for 6th, over two minutes down on winner GS Orobie.

A travelling Welsh team comprising youngster Mike Kallenburg, Filipe Jones and Richard Phillips finished a highly creditable 14th.

Top 3 teams
1 GS OROBIE (Italy) 1.32.23
2 GRAN BRETAGNASNOWDON RACE TEAM 1.33.00
3 LA RECASTELLO RADICI – 1.33.10

Symonds returns in style!

Posted in At the Races on Mon 24 Oct ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com/fr

With Thomas Lorbanchet (left) and Thierry Breuil

British fell and mountain international Andy Symonds has made an amazing return to racing after almost a year of injury. On Sunday the Scots exile took a great victory at one of France’s great races, the 71km La Grande Course des Templiers

Now living in France with his wife and young family, Andy has battled serious ITB issues over the last year or so and after a tough return race at the Cavalls del Vent in Spain a couple of weeks ago, he had a dream day in this classic French event.

Andy tells his story here:

“It’s the first time a Brit has won the Templiers.

“I really did think that training had gone pretty well the last month or so, but having done no racing for a year i did’t have anything to gauge my current state of fitness on, so I really ran the race at my own pace and enjoyed it all the way through.

“The first two hours were in the dark and largely on large forest tracks, but it was a bit of a novelty for me running at a decent pace through the forests in a peleton of twenty or so runners.

“After the first aid station the group split (mainly due to a semi technical decent down to it) and I settled in in the top five or six, gradually working my way through, meanwhile the two favorites (previous winners) Thiery and Thomas seemed to be having a bit of a battle between themselves, and subsequently pulling away from the field.

“I was a little surprised to find them come back to me so easily and when I finally caught them on the climb to the third aid station with less than 20 km to go they seemed to have slowed big time and I was still feeling super fresh.

“Fully aware that legs can suddenly fall to pieces in the later stages of ultra races, often without warning, I cautiously sat behind Thomas and Thiery for a few km until I couldn’t hold back my desire to go faster any more and left them on the last bit of the climb just after the aid station.

“Originally I thought my main chances of getting a good gap would be on the last technical sections and the downhills, so to be pulling away in the runnable climbs filled me with confidence and I subsequently let loose, opened up my stride and just about held it togetheru till the end. I say just because by the top of the very last steep climb I really was reduced to a crawl, but by then I knew I had several minutes advantage and just had to drop down to Millau to clench it.

© www.vo2.fr

Andy sinks to the ground after his amazing Les Templiers win

“I knew I would have judged my efforts over the 45 miles perfectly if I was only really suffering on the the last climb, so it was a good feeling to be hurting now.

“Super chuffed with the result, especially as this is the my first real race in over a year, having been out with my itb problem. It’s a nice introduction for me into the French trail running circuit as well, something I’ll be seeing a lot more of over the next few years…”

Welcome back Andy!

Men’s top 10
1. Andy Symonds – Team Salomon International -06:33:58.
2 = Thierry Breuil – Team Adidas / Thomas Lorblanchet – Team Salomon – 06:45:10.
4. Fabien Antolinos – Team Running Conseil – 06:48:31.
5. Martin Reyt – Team Platinium Sigvaris – 06:52:14.
6. François D’Haene – Team Salomon – 06:56:39.
7. Ludovic Pommeret – Team Koka Altecsport – 07:05:41.
8. Nicolas Martin – Cornillon en Trièves – 07:07:12.
9. Emmanuel Gault – Team Asics France – 07:11:27.
10. David Pasquio – Team Salomon – 07:12:03.

Reactions so far
  1. Mark Croasdale
    Oct 25, 04:06 PM

    Great run Andy, but is he not English????

  2. Matt MST
    Oct 25, 04:09 PM

    Thanks Mark, he is indeed. I suppose I was trying to say that he has left Scotland for France, probably doesnt read like that does it!?

    Sorry…

Lizzy is Spot on

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Wed 19 Oct ’11

© www.findmespot.com

If you are following Lizzy Hawker’s Sky Dance across the Himalayas via her updates on Twitter, then you’ll know that the British ultra runner is progressing well in her 1000 mile trek

© www.findmespot.com

Another great, and more tangible, way of following her is via her Find Me Spot locator profile, via her Spot Satellite GPS Messenger. The product is really cool and for about £150 could be a lifesaver:

The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger provides a vital line of communication with friends and family when you want it, and emergency assistance when you need it. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where cell phones don’t – all with the push of a button.

More info here

© www.findmespot.com

Reactions so far
  1. Roger Henke
    Oct 21, 07:31 AM

    Lizzy has been out of contact for quite some days because she lost all her communications equipment. We are very relieved to be able to report that she has managed to contact us this morning (Nepali time) and reports that all is OK. However, she also told us that she is breaking off her GHT attempt and is returning to Kathmandu.That is going to take another 3-4 if not more days. Only then will we all know the full story.

  2. Matt MST
    Oct 21, 07:43 PM

    Thanks Roger. Good news that Lizzy is well! Will be very interesting to hear what has happened…

Breaking: Dark Peak and Bingley win FRA Relays

Posted in At the Races on Sat 15 Oct ’11

© www.dpfr.org.uk

Some great tweeting from Daleside and JethroLennox have revealed Dark Peak Fell Runners as the men’s champions and Bingley as the ladies winners at today’s UKA Fell Relays in Kettlewell…

Reading through the tweets it appears that the Dark Peak boys were at the head of affairs for much of the race, winning from form-team Borrowdale and 2010 champs Shettleston in third.

Unlike the men’s race, the Bingley girls seem to have stormed through in the second half of the race to take the title ahead of 2010 winners HBT.

Much more to follow with official results and images as soon as they are online…

Reactions so far
  1. Humble Pie
    Oct 15, 08:37 PM

    What were your predictions…

  2. Matt MST
    Oct 16, 05:26 PM

    Yes! Thanks for that, we did get the girls right though and I did mention the DPFR boys :O)

    Matt

ECCO Indoor Trail announced

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Fri 14 Oct ’11

© Stephan Repke

In a joint venture taking place in Dortmund’s ‘Westfalenhallen’ next February, Runner’s World, shoe brand ECCO and the event company behind the Trans Alpine run, PLAN B, have teamed up to bring us the ECCO Indoor Trail

Trail goes indoor. Yep, that’s right, the outdoors are coming indoors this winter through the fascinating event in Germany. Their press release states:

You should definitely mark your calendar for February 3 through 5, 2012, because that’s the weekend the trail running season starts with the premiere of the ECCO INDOOR TRAIL in an unexpected surrounding: Dortmund’s Westfalenhallen.

The new and unique event by Runner’s World and PLAN B event company GmbH is being supported by its title sponsor ECCO. The avowed aim of the event is to stir up excitement for trail running among newbies and make the winter break appear a little shorter for all trail experts by offering a course designed with a lot of passion and fervor.

© Stephan Repke

Who better to approach with such an undertaking than Gripmaster Stephan Repke, because, after all, when it comes to this pioneer trail runner the name says it all.

“We don’t want an obstacle course across the Westfalenhallen. What we do want is a trail with as many natural elements as possible. Participants will run across gravel fields, tree trunks and roots, race around steep turns, cool off their feet in fields of snow, experience the resistance of steep slopes, get really dirty in mud pits, and run through forests. The fact that these elements interact with the stairs, underground hallways and stages of the Westfalenhallen makes this event so charming”.

The about 1.5 kilometer-long trail can be run once or several times resulting in different distance competitions of up to 10 kilometers. Aside from putting their own trail running skills to the test, participants will be able to evaluate products of numerous exhibitors which will be presented on a large expo floor. Admission will be free for the event audience!

Further information via their Facebook page.

UKA Fell Relays: Baton down the hatches…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 14 Oct ’11

© Chris Heys

When it comes to fell running, it’s often a solitary sport. But this weekend it’s going to be all about teamwork as the UK’s best head to Kettlewell in Yorkshire as the Bingley club host the 23rd UKA British Fell and Hill Relay Championships

© bingleyharriers.org.uk

There can be no better feeling when wearing your club colours than to ‘bring home the baton’ in an event like this, as I am sure the Shettleston boys will testify following their win in Fife last year. Unfortunately it seems that the Scots raiders will once again be torn between the hills of Wharfedale and flatlands of Sutton Park, Birmingham (6 stage road relays), which could be a bridge too far for the East Glasgow club.

© John Duffy

The victorious Shettleston boys

After their romp at the Ian Hodgsons a couple of weeks ago Borrowdale will be many people’s favourites. But as Fell Running Briefs quite rightly points out this course is very different to the high fells of the Lakes and some of the faster squads will be gunning for the boys in purple.

Ones to watch will be Bingley (on home turf and if they can Jebby out, who knows), Pudsey (purely because of their strength in depth and potential team should all be fit – Hope boys, Heneghan, Graham Pearce, Darren Kay), Wharfdale (after their excellent second at Ian Hodgson), Dark Peak (similar to Pudsey, they have a very strong squad potentially, headed up by Lloyd), Ambleside and then Mercia.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Steve Cale descends at Breidden Hills

The boys in yellow could be the main threat to Borrowdale. Steve Cale had a great win at the weekend, and it was clear that others were warming up too (Tim D, Pete Vale). Add in Simon Bailey, Andy Davies and the in-form Paul Jones and the men’s podium could be a very colourful affair come Saturday afternoon!

In the women’s race it will be a tough one to call, as the entry list doesn’t state the entrants. Podium clubs from 2010 HBT, Carnethy and Keswick are all entered, along with Altrincham who could be useful. However, if Bingley can get Victoria and Mary Wilkinson, Emma Clayton and others out, they could well be the force to be reckoned with.

Best place to be (if you cant be there) is on Twitter and the FRB feed

The chips are down for McCain XC

Posted in At the Races on Wed 12 Oct ’11

© www.uka.org.uk

The 2011/12 McCain Cross Challenge dates have been announced on the UKA site. The series kicks off with a return to its roots in Bristol on November 13, with the other four counters at Liverpool, Cardiff, Antrim and Birmingham…

Bristol played host to the inaugural Cross Challenge meeting in 1997 and will be the perfect starter to the cross country series which once again features five events in Liverpool, Cardiff, Antrim and the series final in Birmingham.

Sefton Park, Liverpool, and will incorporate the Trials for the Aviva GB & NI team ahead of the European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia in December (Sunday 11)

Full line-up
13 November: Bristol
26 November: Liverpool
15 January: Cardiff
21 January: Antrim
10 March: Birmingham

Commies on the Telly

Posted in Through the Lens on Wed 12 Oct ’11

© www.s4c.co.uk

The 2nd Commonwealth Mountain and Ultra Distance Champs have come and gone. But an excellent one hour highlights package has just been aired on Welsh TV channel S4C

No fret if you missed it, as you can watch again on their Clic service and make sure that you select subtitles if you are not too fluent in Welsh. There will also be a English version on Channel 4 at 7am on the 29th of October, with a different style, presented by Jason Mohammed.

Ricky makes light work of Kielder

Posted in At the Races on Tue 11 Oct ’11

© Kielder Marathon

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.

© Kielder Marathon

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!”

© Kielder Marathon

Ricky leads em out

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.

© Kielder Marathon

Ricky Lightfoot winner of the 2011 Kielder Marathon

Reactions so far
  1. Jason Kehoe
    Oct 12, 04:35 PM

    Wow! Original 3rd placed runner Rob Sloan caught the bus to the finish and was DQ’d when challenged on it…

    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/marathon-runner-stripped-of-medal-after-he-caught-a-bus-to-the-finish-line-2903015.html

Kielder Marathon is Sunday…

Posted in At the Races on Sat 08 Oct ’11

© www.visitkielder.com

Deemed ‘Britain’s most beautiful’ the Salomon Kielder Marathon takes place tomorrow. Launched in February the 2nd edition of the event is the brainchild of former Olympic great Steve Cram and event organiser Dave Roberts…

© North News & Pictures Ltd

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, therefore an apt home for such a great event.

© www.journallive.co.uk

They say that the second album is always the hardest for a musician, so for Crammy and the team it will be interesting then to see if they can improve on the highly successful first event, which saw Lizzy Hawker win the women’s race.

2010 saw the overall win for Zak Kihara in a modest 2:29:10, showing that not is the event beautiful but also tough, and this year sees local interest in the men’s elite race in the form of fell runner Ricky Lightfoot, who continues his return to form after early season injury. Racing gets underway at 10.15am on Sunday (9th), with a field of over 3000 runners taking to the trails – look out for a report, results and images via MST on Monday.

Reactions so far
  1. Olaf
    Oct 8, 10:03 AM

    You’ve sold it to me! Shame I can’t be there this year, but definitely planning on participating n 2012! Can we have 12 degrees, light breeze and sun with some minor clouds, please?

  2. Martin Stacy
    Oct 8, 02:58 PM

    I’m going for this in 2012 too. Ditto on the weather please.

  3. Matt Brown
    Oct 9, 07:51 PM

    You’ll be lucky to get a day when the wind isn’t blowing in Kielder. Perfect for sailing, not so good for running. I spent most weekend for 3 years sailing there, and for maybe 3 days we had no wind and some sun. Worth spending a weekend there for the marathon and checking out the bike trails or forest tracks up and away from the reservoir – endless, quiet and good scenery.

  4. Cottages Scotland
    Nov 15, 12:42 PM

    I have heard a lot about Kielder Water & the Forest Park, which has largest man made lake in northern Europe. I wish I had taken part in that marathon! That would have been good fun.

Comments closed

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 07 Oct ’11

© Bill Smith

A young Rob Jebb at Langdale

The gales are ripping in, and the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees – but we dont care. The Langdale Horseshoe is our pick of the bunch this weekend in England, 14 classic miles for a full field of 500 entrants including Ben ‘The Noor’ Abdelnoor, Rhys Findlay-Robinson, Carl Bell, Nicky Spinks and Natalie White…

Were going for the classic Breidden Hills in Wales and up in Scotland our choice is the super-tough Pentland Skyline. Lots of other lovely races going ahead and as usual all of the info on the above, plus much more on the English, Welsh and Scots race scenes, online at the WFRA, FRA and the SHR sites.

Whatever you’re up to, enjoy, and pack a mac!

© Al Tye / fell running pictures

Tim Davies at Breidden Hills

Leadville 100 by film

Posted in Through the Lens on Fri 07 Oct ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com

Ryan Sandes’ epic efforts, insight from Leadville legends and a chronology of the historic day from Sandes’ point of view. Great cinematography goes some way to complimenting the utter beauty of the high Rockies…

Watch the film here

© www.salomonrunning.com

Bill Smith

Posted in The Sweat on Fri 07 Oct ’11

© mail.co.uk

Bill Smith

The discovery of Bill Smith’s body on the Trough of Bowland has shocked the fell community. Fell runners are a close bunch, they look out for one another, and share a real love of the environment that they take to week in week out – Bill was one such man.

To therefore learn of the news that Bill’s body was discovered last week (after being missing for three weeks) in a peat bog, will leave the community with a gaping hole, as not only was Bill one of those ‘fell lovers’ he was also one of the true legends of the sport.

His book ‘Studmarks on the Summits – A History of Amateur Fell Racing 1861-1983’ was groundbreaking, and although this may be one of his lasting legacies, it seems that he will be most fondly remembered for his inexhaustable enthusiasm and help for others at the races.

Obituaries are rolling in, and such was Bill’s stature that the national dailies are all carrying stories of this tragic tale.

One of those who knew him best was Graham Breeze, and he has written a very moving piece on the FRA

Fellrunners come and go, Champions come and go, but no-one will ever be as important to the development and history of fellrunning as the man who died in September on the Bowland fells.

RIP Bill…

© Bill Smith