It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but ourselves: Ashby 20 2024

Race Date: Sunday18th March 2024

Used by many on the way to a spring marathon, this event fills up quickly but instead of having a transfer system, Ashby allows unwanted numbers to be returned with tranches of spare entries released online as they become available. Such a system would certainly save us all from Facebook being swamped with requests for spare Percy Pud entries each November.

Heading down the M1 in double dot rain a big question was what to wear as, with the start being some distance away from the car park and bag drop, there was a risk of getting cold before the gun although the forecast was for this to cease and temperatures rise. Another conundrum was pace. With two weeks of full training left before London taper begins, going at this full tilt might be ill advised but a poor time could knock confidence. And then of course there was gels – how many to take and how do you stuff them down your shorts discretely?

As it was, the rain stopped early on and then, with the sun making an appearance, it got warm so those with gloves and thermals either suffered or dumped some gear en route.

Now you see it, now you don’t. Rising temperatures led this overdressed individual to jettison t-shirt and gloves en route.

The first mile is a fast downhill before heading out on two undulating, largely rural loops. What goes down, must come up so there’s a stiff climb towards the end which isn’t quite what is required at nineteen miles. With the walk from the start, those caught tarrying at the drop off or otherwise missed the gun but, with chip timing, not so much of an issue these days unless the aim is to trouble the scorers.

Early duel before Hannah pushed on to do Sarah by nearly four minutes.  Pleased to report that Kathryn didn’t let the Bourneville chap get past.

First across the line was Jack Dakin (Derby) 01:52:21 with Amy Lowe (Washlands) 2:11:06 the first woman home but a result that stood out was F60 Kate Wright (Stratford) 2:17:48. The first thought was that some youngster had pinched her number but further investigation reveals that when she races she usually wins her category and was ranked first in the country for her age group over a range of distances last year. The last of the 1296 finishers crossed the line in 05:17:13. (Ashby have a 10 mile cut-off time of 2hrs 20mins to get the roads open again so they seem to have some flexibility on this). Follow link for Full Results Ashby 20 2024

Pos Name Cat Time
165 Hannah Holliday F40 02:32:35
205 Sarah Allcard F50 02:36:20
219 Kathryn Lydiard FS 02:37:57
366 Peter Brown M60 02:50:05
510 (3) Karen Clark F60 03:01:11
1031 Melanie English F40 03:43:08

As ever, nothing but praise from all sources for the organisation and the army of supportive marshals. One of the ladies at about seven miles shouted that “you are amazing” to which chap nearby replied that his wife never says that to him –  it’s hard to laugh and run at the same time.

On the return journey in bright sunshine and with temperatures rising to 16 degrees, conversation revolved around where today’s event placed us in terms of London in five weeks until news filtered through of some rather remarkable times coming out of Scunthorpe that morning. North Lincs Half 2024 It will be interesting to see how our times from Ashby stack up in terms of London. Hannah is running Boston, Massachsetts the Monday before but only for the experience so please don’t read too much into her performance there.

Melanie English, too wise to run a marathon this spring, was doing this for the ever popular hoody which the RD very kindly allowed her to change for a different size. The colour could be described as “Marmite”. You either love it or hate it. Note the mud and puddles.




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