Felix McGrath was in a hurry at Sunday’s (3 December) 14th Newcastle Dales Dash. He raced away from two rivals to win this muddy, off-road 10K in Staffordshire.
McGrath was one of a group of three that led the race early on and continued until near the end. The Newcastle (Staffs) AC runner broke away to cross the line in 35:56; sprinting through the finish funnel nearly a minute ahead of Mercia Fell Runners Simon Bailey who came second in 36:55. Jack Pickett of Wolverhampton & Bilston AC was third in 37:48, adding a top three finish to his recent win at the Bridgnorth 10K.
In the women’s race another young runner made the podium. Lucy Smith of Vale Royal AC was the fastest female in 43:30, a commanding performance from the 15-year old. The aptly surnamed Wendy Swift of Trentham RC was second in 44:07 with Kate Davies taking third in 45:45.
Preet Johal was the midpoint runner in 54:05. The last runner finished in 2:02:09.
The Newcastle Dales Dash is organised by Bill Barker and volunteers from Newcastle (Staffs) AC and popular with runners looking for a challenging, end of year race. The course is hilly, passing through woodlands and meadows with changeable weather conditions as expected at this time of year.
All finishers were presented with an Aynsley China commemorative dish engraved with ‘Newcastle Dales Dash’, Mars bar and a bottle of water. The marshals and other volunteers received the same and an additional ‘thank you’ in the form of tea and chips after the race.