Weekly Review – Week Ending 26th July

I was hoping that we might get over 2,000 miles in club this week but unfortunately we fell short by quite a way. Obviously it’s because Garmin has been down for a number of days and someone who went for a long run (on Suunto) hasn’t uploaded it to Strava yet.

We’re about to start our 4th week of led runs and hopefully most people are managing to get out whether with us or on their own. If you have any feedback on the booking system or anything else about the led runs then please let your run leader or a committee member know.

Sue and Dave Mackie have been taking part in the Sagarmatha Challenge with Crooked Tracks while on holiday in Cornwall – The aim being to reach the height of Everest (also known as Sagarmatha) between them – 8,848m. Scores on the doors… Sue Mackie Total 4,502m over 96.32KM, Dave Mackie Total 4,734m over 105.27KM. Combined Total 9,236m over 201.59KM.

This week, we’ve had 2 people attempting really long runs.

First up was Stewart Unsworth who was aiming to do 14 laps around Cherhill totalling 100 miles completely solo. His legs gave up on him unfortunately, but not before he had achieved an excellent 50 miles in just over 13 hours.

Our second long run (not yet on Strava) was Damian Hall attempting to break the FKT (Fastest Known Time) record for the Pennine Way National Trail.

Mike Hartley set a record in July 1989 of 65:20 running south. This stood for 31 years until last week when John Kelly went north in 64:46. Damian was running south with a schedule to run in 64:04 so very little leeway.

He was crewed by Nicki Lygo, who’d also crewed John Kelly (and provided the header photo) and he was supported by 11 teams of pacers and they picked up litter along the way as Damian’s attempt was to be carbon neutral. He also had a go faster mohican!

He started off at 6am on Wednesday and was soon chopping into his schedule and at one point was around 4 hours up. Day 2 was interspersed with a few nap breaks and by the time he’d been running for 48 hours, his margin was down to around 2 hours.

However, his schedule was reasonably generous for the 3rd day and it become apparent by lunchtime that as long as he kept moving forward and didn’t do anything silly he would break the record. He also had Nicky Spinks pacing to ensure he wasn’t slacking.

Luckily he didn’t do anything silly and he arrived in Edale in 61:34 taking over 3 hours off of John Kelly’s time. Such is the support in the ultra community that both John and Mike Hartley were at the finish to congratulate Damian on his achievement.

Damian has literally written a book on the Pennine Way, he’s run the Spine Race twice and is still heavily involved with the race each year, often as their social media guru so he is well versed on the Pennine Way.

So where next for Damian? I think he has 3 options

  • He also holds the FKT for the South West Coast Path so he has 13 National Trails left to get!
  • John Kelly is a Barkley marathon* finisher so Damian could attempt to replicate that.
  • Or he could try and come to a running club session at CRC!

*If you don’t know of the Barkley marathon, I’d seriously suggest googling it. It is probably the world’s toughest race.

Thank you to John Bamber for permission to use one of his photos of Damian during his record attempt.