Now that a few days has passed and the dust has settled on what was an amazing day for us at the Inaugural Canalathon Ultra event here is an exclusive insight for those that maybe weren't fortunate enough to be there to see what they missed and what to expect next year - when we hope the event will flourish into something bigger and better.
it was amazing right from the off to see an almost instant sense of community to the event as the sheer enthusiasm from runners, supporters & marshals alike at being part of something new was all too evident. The diversity of the field was also in evidence with record chasers & challenge runners in equal measures throughout the field which should make for a nice consistent flow of runners throughout the course.
Right from the off pre-race favourite Marcus Scotney hit the head of the field and looked to force a hard pace, although other frontrunners Nick Wolverson & Franco Pardini would hope to have a major say in the final reckoning. It was however Scotney who brought it home in an amazing 3:28 which is a good bar to set if anyone is to lay claim to the course record in future years. It is worth noting that he went through the marathon distance in an impressive 2h 48mins. Nick Wolverson of Edinburgh AC was close second & Franco Pardini completed the podium.
'Race Winner Marcus Scotney & Cannonball Owner John Lloyd'
'Nick Walverson (Credit J.Grugel)'
In the womens race the ever impressive Amy Green of Keighley & Craven AC came home first in a fantastic time of 4h 6mins to win by over 40 minutes from her nearest rival Anne-Marie Lord of Oldham & Royton Harriers.
For a full List of results click HERE
Now, whilst every race has a competitive edge at the business end as reported above, we are extremely honoured that people choose our events as a tool for a variety of personal challenges and goals and two notable examples of this were evident at the Canalathon.
After his epic 18 marathons in 18 days in the summer of 2013, Ribchester Runners Dave Moretta had a new target in his sights - he wanted to be a world record breaker! He had his sights on a record he could achieve whilst incorporating his love of running, whilst once again showing his ultimate respect to the servicemen and women who serve our country. He decided he would attempt to break the record time of 6 hours to carry a 20lb pack over a 50km distance - the distance of the Canalathon. He would not be able to remove the pack until he crossed the line & would also have to be self sufficient for the race like the other competitors. His hydration and nutrition strategy would be key to his success & serious supplements were on hand as always to assist.
'Iron Man Dave Moretta - Credit G.Wilkinson'
Barring a couple of issues with his camera batteries (the entire run had to be seamlessly filmed as evidence) he achieved his goal in 5h 50mins and subject to the paperwork will be making his way into the record books. We are extremely proud of Dave for once again showing great strength and self belief to succeed and also that he chose one of our events as the platform to achieve.
I'm sure every single runner has their own personal story to tell, first ultras, PB's, overcoming adversity etc.... But we certainly saved the best until last.
Pauline Byers, an everyday wife, friend & mother with a love of running was undergoing treatment for a second diagnosis cancer this time last year, through amazing support from a whole network of people and an unbelievable determination to achieve, completed the ultra-distance. Not happy only to achieve her own personal goal, on the day she was willing to go that extra mile and ran, encouraged and refused to leave a fellow competitor behind - it was so fitting that they crossed the line together!
'A True Inspiration'
This could not have been possible had she not had an amazing team of people behind her and had the tenacity to put in hours of training. Pauline has been working with GW Fitnessandrehab on a one to one basis and has ventured regularly out of her comfort zone. The hard work paid off, there wasn't a single dry eye at the finish line as this remarkable story came to it's conclusion. It was such a priviledge to be part of that moment.
i will leave you with the thoughts of some of the competitors received via our social media channels following the event and look forward to seeing you next year!