The expression ‘winter training’ took on another meaning at Sunday’s (18 February) 9BAR Railway Ultra. Inspired by the success of the summer Railway Ultra, the organisers have added a winter version at the same location and with the same format.
This event started at 10am where a small but determined field of runners headed off from Coalport to complete a set number of laps along this disused railway line between Ironbridge and Bridgnorth in Shropshire.
Each out and back lap was 9.4 miles in distance and on a camber that proved to be a test of physical and mental fortitude later in the event. Runners had the choice of 9, 19, 28 or 38 miles along the banks of the River Severn with feed stations every 4.7 miles.
Luke Baker won at 9 miles in 1:00:03. Claire Thompson was the first lady (and second overall) in 1:08:56. (David Draper won at 13.1 miles in a time of 1:31:14. Sarah Newey was the first lady (and third overall) in 2:06:44).
Marcin Trzecki won at 19 miles in a time of 2:28:09. Kim Edmunds was the first lady (and fifth overall) in 2:41:08. Chris Barnett won at 28 miles in a time of 3:37:11. Gemma Mallett was the first lady (and fifth overall) in 3:50:22.
Trevor Symonds won at 38 miles in 4:42:57. Kelsey Wibberley was the first lady (and second overall) in 4:50:23.
It was another well-organised race from How Hard Can It Be Events with a railway-themed medal for all finishers.