Following the Footsteps of Pilgrims

The North Downs 100 mile Ultra race begins in Farnham at the Western end of the North Downs and it works its way through some of the best of the English countryside. Guildford to Ranmore Common before climbing the now famous Box Hill. Dropping down to Merstham and Oxted and onto Knockholt Pound, which is the halfway point. The final 25 miles see runners travel towards Dover before dropping down into Wye and the finish. Following on from his success at the South Downs Way 50, John Booty took on this immense distance over the weekend. An event that is made complex by the fact that it is mainly off road trails, with a total climb of 9930 feet and an elevation change of 20’000 feet! Hot and humid conditions came in to play, as did the dry and hard terrain. Attempting to put this challenge in to context, there is a 30 hour cut off time, along with the course record currently standing at 15 hrs 44m 39s. Booty completed his latest ultra event in a time of 28 hours 11 minutes 26 seconds.
There was a water shortage of more ways than one at this year’s Clacton Half Marathon. Weather conditions could not have been more different to 2014, when the tail end of hurricane Bertha lashed across the south of the country. Sunday brought very warm weather with temperatures reaching 25 degrees. This was only the second time Clacton was holding the 10k and half marathon events. Reports from some runners alleged that a marshal was missing, so some participants were unsure of the route and only completed a distance of eleven miles. Also a couple of marshal points had not been issued with enough water, running dry on both the first and second laps of the course. Five Bentley souls braved the heat with Paul Hollidge coming home with a watch time of 1hr 50m 31s. Lee Clarkson (1hr 57m 59s) and Chusa Batista (1hr 58m 38s) weren’t far behind. John Bush, stating he “struggled” with the heat, completed the course in 2hrs 46m 31s. While Linzi Iddon took a very sensible approach and dropped the distance from 13.1 to 6.2 miles in 1hr 15m 5s. Keith Oakley also ran the 10k distance, finishing in 1hr 6m. Something worth noting for the future is that due to the terrain, the course has not, as yet been awarded certification of accuracy.