Race date: Sunday 7 October 2018
The Limestone Way Ultra is a 43 mile / 69 km ‘point to point’ trail run through the Peak District, starting at Ashbourne and finishing at Hope, with 5,413 feet (1,650 m) of climbing in between.
As this was my first ever Ultra, I’ve nothing to compare it to. But, for what it’s worth, I thought it was a great event.
I decided to try an Ultra because, having completed several road marathons in recent years, I was looking for a different sort of challenge. And the Limestone Way seemed to meet all my criteria:
- Far enough (a bit more than 30 miles) but not too far
- Hilly but not too hilly
- Fairly close to home, on a date I was free
The only slightly tricky thing (other than the small matter of running 43 miles) was figuring out how to get to the 7am start in Ashbourne, given that the finish was on the other side of the Peak District in Hope. I could have got the coach laid on by the event organisers but that would have getting up incredibly early. So my wonderful wife and kids kindly offered to get up at a slightly less stupid hour (‘only’ 5am) to drive me to the start and spend the rest of the day following me around the Peaks by car – not to mention also dropping fellow Strider Fiona Tweedie off in Monyash for the start of the ‘Limestone Half’.
The race itself seemed to go remarkably smoothly. Needless to say, at various points I felt a bit tired and started asking myself the question ‘why am I doing this?’. But overall, it was a fantastic experience and as I ran I felt incredibly grateful for the following:
- Near perfect weather conditions – a bit different from last year’s event judging by the 2017 race report
- Stunning and varied scenery – a great opportunity to see parts of the Peak District I’ve not explored before
- Clear signage / direction arrows throughout the whole course – very helpful and reassuring (during the eight and a half hours I was out running, I didn’t need to consult my map once)
- Well-positioned feed stations – Psychologically, these were brilliant as they broke the 43 miles down into four manageable chunks (14+12+11+6 miles). And I loved it that the segments got shorter as the race went on!
As I say, this was my first Ultra so I’ve nothing to compare it to. But I’d definitely recommend it.
The first male was Tim Perry in a time of 6:21:03. First female was Alli Grundy in 7:58:52.
|25||Andy Wier||MV 40/49||8:30:07|
Full results can be found at: https://trailrunningpeaks.co.uk/results/results-limestone-way-2018/