Evesham 2014 (updated)

The Evesham results are now out, and I have also updated the Runfurther leaderboard and team results.  The first version I posted today had errors in the vets points calculations, so I’ve now fixed that.  Thanks to Nigel Aston for pointing out the problem.  I wasn’t at Evesham but I have this from Emma: “Great day out at Evesham yesterday. The organisers and the Marshalls were fab in particular and thankfully it didn’t rain all day!”  Karen Nash has written a race report with photos, and you can find that here.  Nigel Aston’s race report is here, a bit further down this post.

The race was won by Mark Davies in 7:18:24, five minutes ahead of Ned Lammas.  Ned’s local to Evesham, but has signed up to join Runfurther, so we’re hoping we see a lot more of him at the races.  Third man was Adam Lloyd of Bromsgrove & Redditch.  First woman home was Kate Whitfield (Mercia) in 8:11:55, which looks to be a pretty fast time.  Again, Kate’s signed up for Runfurther, so she’s another we need to look out for as a contender for this year’s title.  Second woman home was Emma David, with Karen Nash third.

There were 5 possible contenders for grand slams coming into this race, but only 3 survived.  Sadly both Dick Scroop and Harry Godson got timed out.  I understand Dick’s retirement was due to getting lost & so arriving at a checkpoint too late – I don’t know whether the same was true of Harry.  That leaves Karen Nash, Emma David and Nigel Aston still in the running, although I think Karen isn’t actually planning to try for a slam.

Next race is Kintyre on 10 May.  It’s not too late to enter, and it should be a great event!

Nigel Aston’s Evesham report:

A few words on Evesham …

I was not sure what to expect for the Evesham Ultra. The race briefing was extensive, but friendly. We gathered outside the town hall ready to walk off to the start down by the river. I had a jog round the block to warm up and when I got back everyone had gone – I searched around but couldn’t find anyone, eventually an ambulance guy got hold of the map to the start and finally pointed me in the right direction. So I had a fast jog, even a run, to get to the start with a minute to spare.

We set off in damp, overcast conditions with a light breeze. The conditions remained much like this for half the race and then warmed a little with occasional sun later on to be much better than the start of the day forecast had predicted, so many were probably wearing too much or had over packed – still better to be safe. I’d decided to print out a full map set unsure as to the goodness of the way marking. In the end it was brilliant with regularly spaced markers and also at all the decision points – perhaps 400+ round the course. Once we got into the habit of looking for the markers all was good, although occasional mistakes were made as a marker got missed by those around me and later by me too.

Once on to the main ridges the running was great with super views, even in the slightly low cloud conditions. Short grass and slightly downhill in places meant for some quick running. I had Kate Whitefield for company much of the first half of the race. She dropped a little after 20 miles  saying she was looking forward to her drop bag contents at the 24 mile cp. I left that cp just before her but eventually she caught up just past Broadway tower and whizzed off – to finish 7th, excellent.

The route has much flat stuff and I found the climbs a welcome relief to restock on food and drink and give the legs a break/change. The early morning rain meant that there was mud on the course, some of it causing loss of grip, but generally not much of a problem. The last 8 miles which covered field after field after field of grass, crops, gentle ploughing, allotments, grass, etc. did go on and on. In the end the road appeared. I travelled this section with Heston and florescent top (Mark Denby and Ian Overthrow) which kept the pace up. Once on the road Ian shot away and was soon out of sight.

The sun shone and it was warm as I finished jogging into the town centre, to some cheering from patient helpers. A camper van had also been conspicuous around the course and its occupants did plenty of cheering too – thanks, much appreciated. All smiles at the finish. The organiser was so helpful – offering to put onto my muddy shoes the blue plastic foot protectors so I did not have to remove my shoes to go into the Town Hall for refreshments. Presentations were done as and when, completely informal, and just right for what was a low key event in terms of competitors (46?), pity on the low numbers because the organisation was great and could easily have coped with the entry limit of 100.