Les laps it up at Chorley race
Runner clocks up more than 40 miles in six hours
At the Chorley six hour road race, Dumfries Running Club’s Les Hill added 1.3k to the British veteran males record when he recorded 66.712k (41.5 miles).
The race is held over a gravel and tarmac loop of 732 metres that gradually slopes downwards then similarly climbs for the second half.
With fair conditions and only a slight breeze, Les knew he had a chance of improving on the record he set last year in the rain.
The aim is to complete as many laps as possible in the six hours.
At halfway point Les was fifth but knew he was on target having completed 16 laps for each hour and a total of 48. Knowing he needed 89 laps for the record meant he only required 41 more.
Les maintained his form and completed 15 laps in the fourth hour during which he was timed at 3 hours 35 minutes and 36 seconds at the marathon point.
He was able to run for the full six hours without walking and completed 14 laps in both the fifth and final hours. During the second half of the race, he moved in to second place as those ahead of him were reduced to walking regularly.
He averaged just under seven miles an hour by the time he finished at 4pm and during that time completed the equivalent of more than 13 back-to-back Parkruns.
Cumbrian Way Ultra relay
The Cumbrian Way Ultra is a 73-mile race from Ulverston to Carlisle for individuals or as a relay event for teams of two or five.
As the race has a 6am start, the DRC team of Bob Quin, Vicky Hart, Laura Broatch, Andy Dickson and David Burns set off on the Friday night for registration.
Everyone was up bright and early for the 5:30 race briefing and to see Bob off on the first leg. It was dry and cool as the runners set off to Coniston.
Bob had done this leg the previous time DRC entered a team two years ago, so he was confident of navigating it easily enough. The other team members piled into the car and set off for the first changeover.
With live tracking it was simple to predict and be ready for runners coming. They turned off the road, crossed a small bridge and registered their time at the football pavilion.
Except Bob didn’t quite manage that. He ran nearly 17 miles over trails and paths with no incident, but when faced with a small bridge 10 yards from the finish of his leg, he tripped and injured his hand. It looked sore but in true team spirit he bounced straight back up, finished his leg and handed over to Andy.
Andy set off for the next changeover at Sticklebarn. Andy had been forced to give up running at the beginning of the year on medical advice. But a couple of stents have given him a new running lease of life.
This leg over hilly terrain and probably going to take him over 2 hours to complete was going to be a big test of how far he had come.
The rest of the team set off for the next change which was in Great Langdale. It was still dry but getting a bit warmer and every so often you would spot a runner in the distance.
The team didn’t have to wait long before Andy arrived in an excellent time and he handed over to Vicky for the next leg to Keswick.
Vicky’s leg started with a very steep climb. As the rest of the team made their way to Keswick the hilltops looked as if they were getting a right good soaking and she definitely got the worst weather conditions of the day.
By the time the team arrived in Keswick it was again dry and quite warm. As this was quite a long leg the rest of the team headed for something to eat and to meet up with some more supporters who had come to Keswick. Bob had had his arm strapped up by a medic in Coniston and a combination of painkillers and a couple of pints kept the worst of the pain at bay.
The changeover points were excellent in their provision of food for the runners, this one in Keswick was particularly good because Susan Graham was helping out there.
Live tracking allowed Laura to be ready and waiting for Vicky and with the handover completed she headed off on what from a climbing point of view was the hardest section of the run. Having completed several ultras this year already, distance wouldn’t be an issue, however every run is tough in its own way.
The team headed off for Caldbeck and another excellent time on this leg meant that the handover to David was completed and the team were well up on the previous DRC time. It also meant David would have more time in daylight.
This leg consists of two sections, to Dalston and then onto Carlisle. The first section is flat but through countryside the second section is on a cycle path with few interesting features.
With the rest of the relay team waiting at the finish in the courtyard of Carlisle Castle, David crossed the finish line 11 seconds under the time of the previous DRC team at 22:00. The team were presented with their bottle of beer and, usefully, their bottle opener medal.
The team were informed that they were 1st in the relay event however due to the fact that some solo runners would take another 10 hours to complete the race, the prize giving would not be taking place until the following morning.
On the Sunday morning, Vicky, Laura and Andy travelled back to Carlisle to be presented with the prizes of very nice slate coasters and buffs all round as the winning team.