Even muddier than the day before, (of course it was! 1013 Runners and 34 dogs over 4 races had lovingly churned it up for them!), the next 14 victims…l mean Roadrunners….had made the journey over to deepest Dorset to tackle the Larmer Tree hillfest.
First to set off were the awesome foursome in the marathon. 2400 feet of elevation lay before them. Last minute changes to the route due to heavy snowdrifts remaining on some of the high ground, were of concern to our intrepid 4 as White Star events can be famously over distance. But concerns proved to be unfounded as they stormed in measuring 26 miles as planned.
Unsurprisingly off road mileage maestro Dan Williams was the first home in a staggering 3.43.48 claiming 12th overall and 3rd V40.
“Mud, hills, all the usual. I’m still not feeling 100% after having the flu so I am well chuffed… Happy days!”
And chuffed he should be! Despite not feeling fully fit he managed to knock 2minutes off last years time.
Tim Keyte ran his debut off road marathon to come across the line next in just under 4hr 25, with the ever amazing Tarnia Eldridge flying the solo flag for the ladies crossing the line with partner George Butler bagging themselves 5th and 2nd respectively in their age categories.
“That was only 2 and a half minutes away from my pb! I’m really happy with that considering the hills and the mud” said George on Facebook shortly after the race.
Great performances by all of 4 of them.
Dan Williams – 3.43.48
Tim Keyte – 4.24.38
Tarnia Eldridge – 4.43.21
George Butler – 4.43.21
An hour later, the remaining 10 Roadrunners embarked on the tough “20” Despite the mud and the huge elevation, (the equivalent of running up Culver Down 5 and a half times), it was an enjoyable race for all. Maybe it was due to the free cider they were giving out at the “Lovestation” waterstop at 17 miles but who knows? (We do like to work hard, play hard at Roadrunners!)
Many of today’s team opted to run in pairs or small groups with only Mick and Garry going it alone. On long runs such as this, especially over such gruelling terrain, the power of friendship and teamwork can really push each other through.
Unlike the marathoners, “team 20” were treated to an free mile, (aren’t they lucky!) but the extra effort was worth it as they pushed up the final hill to the finish line to collect their beautiful peacock medals and a hot lunch courtesy of the organisers, White Star Running.
Mud lover Michael Coultrup was unsurprisingly the first to cross the line in just under 3hrs 14 and 2nd V50. A fantastic performance considering he has been nursing a niggly knee.
“I took it real steady and enjoyed it” he tells me later
Garry Sharp was next home in just under 3hrs25, proving his London marathon training is right on target. Inseparable running team Judy McCabe and Steve Bennett were next across the finishing line giving Steve a fantastic 2nd place V60 and Judy 8th in hers. The gigglers were in next Lisa Upstell just nipping ahead in the final stages but having run the majority of the race with troublesome trio Julie Ray, Julie Rasmussen and Sarah Sharp.
“That was a tough run but I was determined to not let it beat me. It was made easier with the encouragement of the two Julies and Lisa who were all awesome” our Vicechair Sarah Sharp tells me.
A few minutes later Kevin Winchcombe and Gill Bushell came in completing the Roadrunners team with big smiles on their faces.
Michael Coultrup – 3.13.28
Garry Sharp – 3.24.46
Judy McCabe – 3.36.42
Steve Bennett – 3.36.42
Lisa Upstell – 4.13.41
Julie Rasmussen – 4.14.51
Julie Ray – 4.14.51
Sarah Sharp – 4.14.51
Kev Winchcombe – 4.26.48
Gill Bushell – 4.26.48