Long trail series 2012

Sunday’s Sandstone Trail races marked the end of this year’s Long Trail Series races, so here’s a summary of the year’s events, and the results. I’ll soon be looking at what events to include in next year’s series, so if there are any you would like to run, just let me know. Any off-road timed event between 14 and 35 miles qualifies.

This may have been the best year in the club’s history for off-road endurance running. As far as I’m aware, nobody has ever matched Chris Baynham-Hughes’ achievement in completing the Dragon’s Back race. We also had two completions of the Bob Graham Round in the same year, again something that has never happened before. And once more we were well represented at the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, with four members competing.

The Long Trail Series itself went well again, with four of the seven events having four or more club members running, and one or two more club members starting to try out some of these longer runs. Here’s a brief event by event summary:

Wuthering Hike, 33 miles, 10 March: Only me on this one, which was a pity as it’s a great event. It’s a bit of a long drive to get there, which may have put some off.

Edale Skyline, 21 miles, 25 March: Four of us ran this Peak fellracing classic, with good weather for the third year running – too warm if anything. The main highlight was Chris Baynham-Hughes’ performance, finishing in 44th place in what is always a top class field.

Sandstone Trail Marshals’ event, 33 miles, 5 May: This didn’t happen as I was ill!

Gritstone Tryal, 15 miles, 29 July: Only Jackie and me for this one, but I think we should try to get more out next year, as it’s a great local event and it needs support. We both had a great run on the Staffordshire gritstone, and the navigation was reasonably straightforward.

Race the Train, 14 miles, 18 August: It wasn’t a normal running of this event as it didn’t rain at all. Five HRC runners competed: none of them beat the train this year, but Jane Ashbrook came closest. Dave Feakes being the only man among them picked up 20 points, with Jane being first HRC lady home yet again.

Open To Offas, 30 miles, 15 September: This was a great LDWA event, crossing the tracks of a number of the short fell races we’ve had in the Clwydian Hills. Most of the participants are walkers but there are some runners too, and the organisers would be happy to have more. We had the first three finishers, with Adair setting a new course record of 5 hours 4 minutes, and Jackie finishing joint first lady.

Sandstone Trail A Race, 17 miles, 30 September: Five of us ran this year, on a day when we were expecting rain, but in the event it stayed dry. The conditions were pretty muddy, but not nearly as bad as it could have been, given the flooding there had been only days before. A great event as always, with Adair leading the club home in 11th place overall.

Overall, Jackie and I competed in five events each, and Adair and Ian Landucci ran two each. One was enough for everyone else! Full results to follow…

Andy Robinson

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