Race Date: Sunday 6th May 2018
‘It’s Grim Up North’, race organisers of the Roche Abbey Trail Running Festival, put on a selection of these events where you can choose your distance, from 5km to Ultra, by simply increasing the number of laps you do. Half a lap for 5km, one full for 10km, two for nearly a Half Marathon, and so on.
Just before Christmas four Striders completed the Half at Elsecar, with others involved in all the other distances. The homemade cake, plentifully supplied, was one of the attractions this time.
The route was a complete mix of short road section, field paths, tracks, woodlands and uphill through sweetcorn fields. Chuck in a bit of mud, a couple of hills, a few stiles, nettles on one section, a stunning Cistercian Abbey (which will be nice when finished) and a bit of water and it was just what I love.
The water crossing offered the classic choice – stepping stones or wet feet? Firbeck Dike comes out of the mill pond under good control; not too deep or fast. Ashleigh Barron, who went on to scoop First Female, stayed dry on the stepping stones. Not for me, that option. On the second lap I saw a little group of kids sitting on the far bank as I approached, downhill. In, through, heel strikes all the way, peals of laughter.
Liam Russell and I were using it as ‘tapering’ two weeks ahead of Liverpool Marathon. Ashleigh was ‘sharpening’ for Liverpool. Martyn was perhaps enjoying it less – it was warm, and he doesn’t get to run up and down enough with a barrow (I wonder if that would count in the Buggy Parkrun Cup?).
If your experience of a ‘running festival’ is limited to something huge like the EMF, then this is the antithesis – low key, small field of runners, great cake, low cost, surprising location, top 50 finish.
Would I do it again – absolutely! Would I run another of their events – also definitely so! I’m looking at Duncombe Park, Helmsley, or Sir Titus Trot at Saltaire.
Four Striders ran, four course PBs earned (as it was first time for all of us here). Ashleigh was first placed female, winning a charming (euphemism for ‘small’) cup to keep, in 1:45:30. First male was James Aldridge (unattached) in 1:39:45. 83 runners finished the 10k, 67 runners completed the Half, 18 did the 20 miles, 32 completed the four-lap ‘Marathon’ and 8 the five-lap Ultra.
|Ashleigh Barron||1st female||5th overall||1:45:30|
|Stuart Jones||14th male||18th overall||2:07:18|
|Liam Russell||17th male||22nd overall||2:12:02|
|Martyn Goldsack||19th male||27th overall||2:12:39|
Full results: here