Runners brave weather as Storm Ciara plays havoc with weekend schedule

PUBLISHED: 18:32 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:32 14 February 2020

Danik Bates at the Victoria Park Half Marathon. Picture: Stevenage Striders

Danik Bates at the Victoria Park Half Marathon. Picture: Stevenage Striders


Runners from Fairlands Valley Spartans, Stevenage Striders, Hitchin Running Club and North Herts Road Runners saw limited action this weekend as Storm Ciara played havoc, but a hardy bunch braved the weather to take part in races.

Plenty had been expected to run the Therfield Heath Cross Country Race, London Winter 10k and Love Welwyn 10k, but the high winds saw the races cancelled.

There was an impressive performance from Spartan Jonathan Parr at the Chichester 10k though, as he completed the Goodwood Motor Circuit course in a fantastic time of 34:09, coming 99th out of 1,529 runners.

n Two hardy Squirrels, Mike Bullock and Susan Mansfield, undeterred by severe weather warnings, ventured up north on Saturday to compete in the Leicester Round Ultra.

A 100-mile trail route, the course takes in the villages and hamlets of Leicester, with Bullock finishing in 8:05:00 and Mansfield crossing the line in 8:16:00.

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"Let's just say it was 58km of pure muddy torment," said Bullock.

"It was big hills and constant never-ending mud, so we were filthy and soaking wet from start to finish.

"I will be grateful never to run across another ploughed field in my life, one farmer was actually ploughing his field as we ran across it, just to torture us, and some of the hills were so muddy we actually went up on our hands and knees."

n Strider Danik Bates was back in race action for his second half marathon in six days, this time running the Victoria Park Half Marathon in Hackney.

Despite the course being flat, Danik could only get a time of 1:42:25, finishing 190th out of 623 runners.

n Not willing to allow a little bit of wind to stop him, or indeed pitch darkness, Hitchin Running Club's Adam Rossington travelled to Culden Faw Estate in the Chilterns to compete in a 15km after dark run.

Problems with his head torch led to Rossington often straying from the rest of the runners, he completed the tough trail course in an impressive 29th place with a time of 1:16:53, greeted at the end with the friend of the true high performace athlete - beer and pizza.

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