Two new course records and a prize for the muddiest runner were amongst the Easter goodies on offer at the Newcastle Way Trail Marathon (15 April) in Staffordshire.
Bruce Johnson of Newcastle AC smashed last year’s course record by 32 minutes, winning the 2017 race in 3:24:36. Jon Ranford of Niteriders was second in 3:39:17 with his teammate Chris Polwart taking third in 3:44:02.
Louise Southwell won the women’s race in 4:03:18 and set a new course record at the same time, knocking more than 50 minutes off the 2016 best finish time. Heather Carter of Sandbach Striders was second in 4:11:48 with Tracey Brown of South Cheshire Harriers coming third in 4:21:52.
Tracey Brown accompanied her teammate David Betteley who had been leading the race up to 11 miles before he slipped and injured his knee. He continued despite being in pain to finish in 4:21:54.
Top ranked county athlete and City of Stoke AC coach John Danahay was also in a strong position to win but stomach issues forced him to withdraw.
The last runner finished in 7:37:39.
A record number 124 runners completed the Newcastle Way Trail Marathon including a three-person relay team. It was professionally organised by Andrew and Emily Vickerman of Gold Events who ensured runners were looked after from start to finish with four feed stations, first aid from UltraMedix and a free pint of beer. In addition there were spot prizes for the ‘Muddiest Runner’ and the ‘Best Selfie Upload’ along with an Easter egg hunt and DJ at the finish, ensuring fun for all involved.