Saturday 25th January 2020
“It’s going to be horrible! Sign up now, if you hate yourself” – is how this race was described by the race director. And so it was. I’ve done this race 3 times before, so I know it’s going to be horrible. Also, I’m always under-cooked at this time of year, and as usual, I’d been ill for most of the month. And yet, there I was on the start line, the best part of six hours of pain and self doubt ahead of me. Probably will be again next year! What is wrong with us?
The route is simple enough, a little jog along the Chesterfield canal, amble down the river Trent, and meander along some country lanes, until you’re back where you started. Except it’s 31 miles of sticky mud and a deceptively cold head wind. There’s nothing particularly hard about it – it just grinds you down.
If you fancy doing an ultra, I wouldn’t make this one your first. But if it was, the navigation is simple, the route is well marked and marshalled, and there’s plenty of food at the aid stations. What’s not to like (apart from the wind and the mud)?
The race was won by Jonathan Frary, of Dancaster AC, in a time of 4:02.10. First Lady was Helen Pike, of Birmingham Running, Athletics and Triathlon, in a time of 4:42.57.