This weekend it was time for a large colony of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) to pack their overnight bags and head to Petersfield for this year’s club trip. The event this year was the South Downs Half and Full Marathon.
The South Downs Marathon is a scenic point to point race over the beautiful South Downs. The South Downs Marathon has its 10th Anniversary in 2015 and is now a classic trail run from Slindon College, through the Slindon estate to join the South Downs Way at Bignor Hill. From her it heads west to finish at the bottom of Butser Hill in Queen Elizabeth Country Park for the classic marathon distance 26.2 miles.
The South Downs Half Marathon was launched in 2012 to offer a shorter trail race to the Marathon. Traditionally the route has started with a stiff climb up Butser Hill however, the route ran from the village of Chalton up on to the South Downs Way to accommodate the Ditcham School mountain bike event. From there runners followed the Sussex Border Path from the railway bridge at Woodcroft Farm up to the South Downs Way. This brought runners out further East on the South Downs Way than before so they had a longer run back to the joint finishing line. It has to be said that neither of these courses were easy with both including steep hill climbs and descents, stony tracks and runner made tracks through the hay fields.
Taking part in the full marathon were nine members of the club, with four running the distance for the first time. First home for the Bats were Sam Lake who was also second lady overall and her running buddie Steve Hill to finish together in a time of 3.46.07. Jenny West ran her first marathon for the club to finish in a great time of 04.52.29. Julie Page, Mel Greaves and Emma Dooney also ran their first marathon.
For the half marathon, first male Bat home was Phil King who ran a great off road event and was chased across the line by Dave Adams. Club veteran Ralph Elmes was the next man home and finished third in his age group. Lisa Birch was the first lady Bat home. Stew Barwis made his debut for the club and a special well done to Philip Adams who ran his first ever half marathon to finish third in his age group.
Team Bat South Downs Trail Half & Full Marathon are pictured with their finishing times: Full Marathon: Steven Hill 03.46.07; Samantha Lake 03.46.07; Francis Dix 04.26.36; Jennifer West 04.52.29; Matthew Luckham 04.53.42; Julie Page 05.15.59; Sarah Cohen 05.30.05; Melanie Greaves 05.58.36 and Emma Dooney 05.58.36.
Half Marathon: Philip King 02.04.26; David Adams 02.05.15; Ralph Elmes 02.14.29; Lisa Birch 02.16.35; Andy Cowden 02.16.37; Marcia Macey 02.19.24; Pam Adams 02.28.58; Mike Smith 02.30.05; Heather Smith 02.30.06; Natasha Ayres 02.31.32; Alison Greaves 02.35.57; Janice Fuller 02.41.02; Philip Adams 02.41.02; Steve Barwis 02.45.42; Jade Alford 02.47.12; Lai-Yin Wong 02.51.51; Jo Bourton 02.57.32 and Jo Vella 02.57.32.
As is often the way with the Bats, many ran together in pairs and crossed the line hand in hand and as they finished the usual clapping and screaming support of the team formed at the finish and waited until the last Bat cross the line some six hours after the starting horn sharing hugs and tears of a job very well done. Here is the whole team 🙂
Also as the weekend lone Bat, Fran Morgan made her way to the foothills of Snowdonia to finish the mountain trail marathon in a great time of 6 hours 16.
Closer to home a team of five Bats took part in the Burrator Horse Shoe which is a 7 mile moorland run from Meavy and out over Dartmoor, via Burrator Reservoir, Sheepstor Dam, Sheepstor Summit (369m), Guttor Tor Summit (357m), Ringmoor Down and Meavy River Ford which is often knee deep.
Team Bat Burrator Horseshoe 2015 are pictured with their times: Laurence Sargeant 01.00.30; Christine Le Flem 1.05.16; Paul Mingo 01.13.00; Kate Glanville 01.13.42 and Nicky Edmunds 01.14.13.
….and here are some shots of our club trip (all pics can be found on our Facebook page):