Race Date: Sunday 23rd September 2018
The midweek forecast for this race told us to expect a rain apocalypse. Thankfully this never materialised and we all got to enjoy the Sheffield Way in perfect running conditions.
Huge thanks, once again, must go to John Crossland, in his 15th (and sadly last) season as event director. Also huge thanks to Smiley Paces for stepping in to fill in with the shortage of volunteers, as well as John’s usual back stage volunteering team.
The race was the biggest event yet with 20 teams entered as well as 9 individuals running the full Ultra route. This year the men’s race provided the closest of finishes with a ding dong battle between Dark Peak and Totley. Dark Peak were a good 8 minutes or so up at the end of leg 2 but Totley fought back and closed the gap to about 3 minutes by the end of leg 3. At the end of leg 4, Totley had not only eliminated the gap but had a lead of about 3 minutes themselves. All was not lost however for Dark Peak who valiantly fought a rear guard action and overcame the 3 minute deficit. Over 46.4 miles of running, the finally winning margin for Dark Peak was a mere 47 seconds. Brilliant running from both teams, making for a really exciting event. Dark Peak finished first in 5.38.07 with Totley second in 5.38.54. Dark Park also set the new course record at 5.38.07.
The ladies race was also very competitive with Totley ladies having a 9 minute lead at the end of leg one and Striders ladies in third. However, Striders were able to claw back the time through some brilliant running, including a record breaking leg three, from Sian Evans and Fran Cummins to snatch back the ladies title from Totley who had won it last year. The Striders ladies team finished first in 6.32.36 with Totley ladies finishing second in 6.45.13. Brilliant running from the whole of the Striders ladies team whose combined efforts broke the ladies course record once again, with the record now standing at 6.32.36.
Overall, a brilliant day’s running, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks to all competitors and volunteers. The presentation event at Nether Edge bowling club was the icing on the cake. See you all again next year.