Over the last few weeks lots of Swaledale runners have tested themselves over longer distances. The Wensleydale Wander is a popular local event for runners and walkers, with the option of a 12-mile and a 23-mile route. Martha McBarron had an excellent run to complete the short route in 2.22, 4th lady and 11th overall. Carrie Morrell used the event as a recovery walk from the GNR and finished in 4.09. On the long route Jess Young flew round in 3.23, 1st lady and an impressive 3rd overall. She was followed by Derek Parrington in 3.41, Martin Randall in 3.46, Helen Nicholson, Liz Sowter and Heather Hodgson in 4.23, Richard Izdebski in 4.49 and Simon Hewitt and John Cantrell in 5.16.
On September 26th triathlete Carol Murray competed in the Outlaw X half Ironman. It was a challenging course: the lake had ‘so much weed it was like swimming through a bowl of salad’, the bike leg had 700m on ascent on busy roads and the run was three loops on varied terrain. Carol was justifiably happy with her result of 6'39.13, 9/21 in her age group, 93/173 female and 565/778 overall.
On October 2nd it rained all day on the seven brave Swaledale runners who tackled the Round Ripon Ultra. 102 runners started the race and 92 finished. Experienced ultra-runner Ros Blackmore was first home for the club in 7.03.27, 39th, 6th female, 3rd FV50. Helen Nicholson, in her ultra debut, was not far behind in 7.29.10, 54th, 11th female, 5th FV50. Shortly afterwards Simon Hewitt, once again in a supporting role, finished with Rachel Ridley in 7.44.45, which placed Rachel as 12th female. John Cantrell, Stuart Clarkson and Julia Spittle also ran together and kept each other going to finish in 8.34.02, with Julia delighted to pick up the trophy as 1st FV60.
The weather could not have been more different for the Grewelthorpe Trail Race the next day. Four Swaledalers competed the 13K course in excellent running conditions. Neil Bowmer was 17th in 1.04.23, Emily Abbey 4th female in 1.12.00, Liz Sowter 11th female and 1st FV60 in 1.19.34 and Samantha Metcalfe flew down the final hill to finish in 1.37.36.
This was also marathon day for thousands of runners across the country. Tim Grimwood is more at home on the fells than on flat tarmac, but he took on the challenge of running the London marathon to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice . He paced his run like a pro, speeding up in the final miles to finish in 3.11.10. Robert Dashwood, who had waited for years to get a London Marathon place, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and finished in 4.29.48. Roger Brisley had also waited for years to run this event and given a recent serious injury he has worked miracles to get to the starting line. He ran a well-paced first half, but stomach issues left him running on empty later on, so he stoically plodded home in 5.50.43.
Martin Randall completes the Kielder marathon every year, so he wasn’t going to let a dodgy ankle hold him back. He finished this hilly course 88th overall in 3.52.14. Another Kielder enthusiast, Niall Cheyne, produced his best performance since 2014 to finish in 5.02.49.
Saturday October 9th saw Tim Grimwood back on the fells at the Langdale Horseshoe. Just 12.5 in length it has an incredible 4600ft of ascent over what the organisers describe as ‘a rough, tough course with almost exclusively rocky and slippy ground’. Tim finished 62nd in 3.00.26, followed by an excellent performance from Mike Keavney in 3.29.02 and Ian Oldham in 4.00.22. On the same day Neil Bowmer joined an incredibly strong field on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race. Conditions were misty but warm and he was pleased to get round in 4.55.40 safely and without incident. Neil was 282nd out of 467 starters.
Sunday October 10th was one of the most important days in the club’s calendar, as we staged the annual Richmond Castle 10K. One of the marshals reported that comments from finishers ranged from ‘That was brutal’ to ‘That’s the best 1