Canalthon Report & Results 2015
I woke on the morning of 22nd March to glorious sunshine and knew it was going to be an amazing day and it didn't let me down. On arrival at the start it was obvious we had a great mixture of runners from all ability levels. Each person would write their own story and all would be worth reading. The atmosphere was amazing and this continued within the race. With the additions of the 75 & 100km races, it gave the race a new slant too. An opportunity to go beyond last years distance. With the earlier start of the 100km, running towards the direction of the 50/75km runners.
Several runners commented on how nice it was seeing the runners from the 100k passing them in the opposite direction and acknowledging each other as they passed.
The 50k race had so many success stories. Over 25% of the field competing and completing their first ultra. It's an amazing achievement for both them and us as a company. We pride ourself on running races for runners by using runners at all our aid stations. I was so pleased to see people achieve their goals. People who I have spoken to over the build up and shared advice and knowledge.
The 50k race began with 2014 second place runner up, Nicholas Wolverson, setting the pace - a position he kept right to finish. His finish time was 3:40.
Behind him there was a really close race developing between Brian Clifford, Dominic Carroll and Martin Davies. Looking at the CP times, they all ran clever races operating with their own plans. They ended up finishing in that order. Impressively the first female time was improved upon last years record. Fabieanne Richmond of Clayton Harriers Leading the way with an impressive 9th place overall and a time of 4:23, certainly one to watch for the future. Second place went to Kirsty Harvey. 3rd place went to Sussana Larminie Who was elated and genuinely surprised to see her result, which makes us as a company feel great that we are shattering people's expectations of what they can achieve and be awarded for.
In the middle pack there were some superb stories, with several runners opting to run together and spur each other on to the finish. I think some people will have made friendships for life on the race and that's what distance running is about. Supporting and sharing our highs and our lows but getting through. We had wife and husband combinations, best friends and training partners giving it a real community feel.
The 75km race was slightly overshadowed by a small confusion over the route at Salter Hebble. Here there are 2 options a river path and a canal path. Sadly several runners took the river path and had to retrace their steps to get back to this point to recognise their mistake. However it didn't seam to make a huge difference to the positions finished overall.
The first placed runner didn't let the small confusion affect him and ran a large part of the race on his own. Peter Abraham secured this with a time of 6:57.
Helen James (England international endurance athlete) came 2nd in the race overall by using her wits and guile (and a print off of the route instructions) in a time of 7:45 Second lady and 7th overall was Sadie Beasley in a time of 8:23 She also used her experience to renegotiate the course to good effect. Their were also some sterling performances and completions in the middle pack of race. Paul Bromley ran steadily throughout and was possibly the happiest contestant. He races to the max and was so grateful to the marshals everyone commented on how he had inspired the other runners in the race to keep going too.
The 100km race was a great spectacle and an impressive 14 finishers from the starting field of 24 is exceptional and testament to their efforts. This is much higher than the usual percentage of races near or over the 100km in distance.
Second place went to John Knapp and the first placed lady was Sarah Whittington in a total time of 10:31. Second placed lady went to local girl Jill Butterworth of Rochdale Harriers in a time of just over 12 hours. To run consistently for that length of time is a staggering achievement.
In summary the races were run in amazing spirit and I would like to thank all runners, supporters and my amazing team of marshals. Outdoor Angels first aid support and Garry Wilkinson from GW FitnessandRehab for there sterling efforts on the course. Special mention also goes out to Dene Townend who provided all the route maps and coordinated the event with myself. It's great to have superb runners and great support staff.
2015 CANALATHON WINNERS
we ran across the counties...
Hope to see you all soon.
John Lloyd. Owner of Cannonball Events