Race Report – Hell of a Hill Marathon event 8th to 12th November 2017
This year the club has been well represented over the 5 days of this marathon event labelled as one of the toughest in the UK. We had runners aiming for all 5 days, a few doing 2 in 2 days and even some running their first ever trail marathons. The weekend also saw the red rose support crew out in full force. An enforced change of venue this year has meant not only an increase in capacity of the event (certainly seen on the Saturday) but also a change of route from last year. Although the route now “only” involves 5x laps of Rivington pike up to the summit; the new lead out / in stretch involves some steep country lanes meaning the overall elevation gain of the 26.2 mile route is over 4000 feet in total. The weather has been favourable this year (previous years have seen snow & ice on the hill) with only the Friday (day 3) runners really having to worry about the rain & stronger winds. Rather than bad weather, the day 4 runners had to contend with approx 200 Santa’s walking up the route for charity; the trails covered in cyclists taking part in a local cyclocross event; and even a random car trying to navigate the descent down past the pigeon tower clearly with a dodgy sat nav!
All results below based on official chip times
Day 1 results (45 finishers)
John Naylor – Pos.3 – 04:10:55
Anthony Barnes – Pos.17 – 05:44:39
Gina Biggs – Pos.45 – 08:11:15
Day 2 results (37 finishers)
John Naylor – Pos.4 – 04:26:18
Shane Cliffe – Pos.9 – 05:19:59
Aimee Midgley – Pos.28 – 06:39:31
Day 3 results (47 finishers)
John Naylor – Pos.5 – 04:22:56
Gareth Bell – Pos.11 – 05:01:59
Gina Biggs – Pos.47 – 08:09:02
Day 4 results (90 finishers)
Gary Corcoran – Pos.3 – 04:13:38
John Naylor – Pos.5 – 04:23:36
Stuart Cann – Pos.6 – 04:24:25
Andrea Davison – Pos.67 – 06:52:24
Gareth Bell – Pos.68 – 06:52:26
Nikki Bentley – Pos.82 – 07:26:56
Gina Biggs – Pos.87 – 08:42:13
Day 5 results (49 finishers)
John Naylor – Pos.6 – 04:33:22
Gary Corcoran – Pos.12 – 05:02:11
Anthony Barnes – Pos.20 – 05:26:39
Pita Oates – Pos.26 – 05:46:17
Mark McCrea – Pos.27 – 05:46:18
Gina Biggs – Pos.49 – 08:59:36
5 in 5 attempts
Well done to John Naylor who completed all 5 days and finished 2nd place overall in the 5 in 5 competition. An outstanding achievement with some very consistent running. John also set the fastest time of any red rose runner throughout the event. That is 131 miles in total over the 5 days, with 20,000 feet of climbing and a total run time of around 22 hours.
Also a special mention to Gina Biggs who unfortunately struggled on her second day meaning she was unable to finish but showing guts & inner strength dusted herself down and went back to finish the last 3 days giving her a total of 4 marathons completed during the event. Gina is ticking these marathons off nicely now as she grows closer to the 100-marathon landmark.
Although no team prizes are on offer it is worth noting that on day 4 the club had 3 runners in the top 6 places, well done Gary (3rd), John (5th) and Stuart (6th).
Overall Standings (based on fastest time)
Just for a bit of fun I have put together some overall standings based on the fastest time posted by each runner during the event. Obviously, it is impossible to compare times across each day as fatigue & energy levels, the weather, temperature, ground conditions, overall size & pace of the field, usage of the route and even the nutrition available changed each day.
John Naylor – 04:10:55 (day 1)
Gary Corcoran – 04:13:38 (day 4)
Stuart Cann – 04:24:25 (day 4)
Gareth Bell – 05:01:59 (day 3)
Shane Cliffe – 05:19:59 (day 2)
Anthony Barnes – 05:26:39 (day 5)
Mark McCrea – 05:46:18 (day 5)
Pita Oates – 05:46:17 (day 5)
Aimee Midgley – 06:39:31 (day 2)
Andrea Davison – 06:52:24 (day 4)
Nikki Bentley – 07:26:56 (day 4)
Gina Biggs – 08:09:02 (day 3)
Well done to everyone taking part and thanks to those of you coming out to support. This is a great event, low key and well organised with a friendly support crew. Highly recommended!