It was all about the views at Sunday’s (2 July) Ashbourne Half Marathon as more than 200 runners put the new course to the test. Peak perfection in many ways.
Now in its 31st year, the Ashbourne Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run is one of the most scenic races in the UK, taking place in the picturesque Derbyshire Dales and Peak District. Organised by Ashbourne RC and Nice Work, it started from Ashbourne Recreation Ground before swapping town for the country and a series of hills.
The tough, one-lap course included climbed up Thorpe and Blore hills and crossed over the Dove and Manifold rivers, followed by a long downhill section to Okeover Park. It then turned back towards Ashbourne with a sprint to the finish at the Recreation Ground.
Phil Skelton of Steel City Striders proved to be up to the challenge, winning the 2017 Ashbourne Half Marathon in 1:17:08. Billy Cartwright of Matlock AC finished exactly two minutes behind him in 1:19:08. There was a closer gap between second and third place with Gareth Cooke of Penistone Footpath Runners, 10 seconds behind in 1:19:18.
Steel City Striders were in equally commanding form in the women’s race with Jennifer Rich first across the line in 1:32:18. Emma Weston of Congleton Harriers was second in 1:36:30 with Karolina Kucharek of Rolls Royce Harriers third in 1:39:47.
Doug Laird was the midpoint runner in 1:56:40 with the last person finishing in 2:40:41.
Full results are available at our race listings
Photo courtesy Ashbourne & District Lions Club