Offa Dyke 15.
Report – David Jones.
This was the 5th year of this race since it’s rebirth in 2015 and the 29th running in total of this classic race that was held every year from 1977 – 2001.
For those 25 years it was THE off-road race to do, with runners coming from all over the country and abroad to complete this beautiful but challenging race.
Foot and mouth caused its cancellation in 2002 and following this, the race organisers were unable to get the momentum back to re-start it.
In 2015, Tempo Events, with the invaluable help of David Joyce the original race director, re-launched it.
Whilst it broadly follows the Offa’s Dyke Path, one of the quirks of this unique race is that to reduce the number of stiles runners must navigate, David once again gained the permission of every farmer and land owner to have the race go through their land and open their gates.
This year 12 club members completed the race.
Following his success as the club’s first finisher in last week’s Two Castles Run and competing in his first off-road race, Matt Burdus-Cook replicated that performance by once again being the first club member finisher.
He was the 9th overall in a time of 1:53.28 and 3rd in his age category. Drew Sambridge (15th – 1:59.31) was next to finish followed by Ivan Sarti (31st – 2:08.01). Ivan was 2nd in his age category, less than a minute behind the category winner.
Kieran Tursner (41st – 2:11.36 ) was making a welcome return after a lengthy period of injury and should be well pleased with his performance.
David Smyth (52nd – 2:17.25 ) was a couple of minutes ahead of Mark Hatelely (56th – 2:19.23) who was followed by 3 runners who had completed in last week’s Two Castles Run. The first of these was Pete Sugden (70th – 2:24.00) followed by Adam Evans (84th – 2:27.55) and Karl Harris (92nd – 2:28.53).
Liuba Pasa was the first of the 3 of our women to finish in a time of 2:43.54, she was also 5th in her age category. Liuba was followed by an in-form Rebecca Pridham, who’s time of 2:52.41 was some 8 minutes quicker than her time last year.
Finally, Louise Stewart, acting as the race sweep, completed the course in 3:24.28.
The race was won by Connor Carson in a time of 1:44.15 and the first female finisher was Ann Nixon, in 17th place with a time of 1:59.48. 228 runners completed the course.