The bulldog spirit was in evidence at the Ultra Great Britain 200 last Sunday (19 August) with runners pushing beyond their limits to complete this extreme challenge. As Winston Churchill once said: “Never, never, never give up!”
Over 60 hardy souls from across the UK and overseas waited to start at 6am from Southport Promenade. The daunting task ahead of them was to run the 200-mile Trans-Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea within 100 hours. The event was held over five days (19-23 August) with a highly prized Ultra GB buckle for everyone who finished.
Self-sufficiency was of prime importance with runners expected to carry mandatory kit, navigate the route and keep themselves in good working order as they made their way from west to east. There were 15 checkpoints along the route with dedicated volunteers providing drinks, hot food and other refreshments plus somewhere to rest and regroup.
Neil Rutherford and Spencer Bunn were joint first place winners at the 2017 Ultra GB 200, finishing in 47 hours and 6 minutes. Martin Hookway was third male in 57 hours and 53 minutes.
The first lady to finish was Scottish international Rosie Bell in 52 hours and 34 minutes. Debbie King was second lady in 78 hours and 49 minutes, finishing alongside David Smith, aka Scooby Doo, who was fundraising for neonatal and stillbirth charity Sands. Joint third ladies were Laney Jones and Sadie Besley in 81 hours and 36 minutes.
Julie Valentine was the last recipient of an Ultra GB buckle, sprinting across the finish line in 99 hours and 52 minutes.
Now eyes turn to next year’s Ultra GB, taking place in Scotland and following the Southern Upland Way.
Photo courtesy Kerry Mawdsley