Road Runners prove they are up to the Challenge

Duncan Hamilton and Jamie Marlow before the start of the Ridgeway Challenge

Duncan Hamilton and Jamie Marlow before the start of the Ridgeway Challenge

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Two Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners, Jamie Marlow and Duncan Hamilton, have placed in the top-10 of the Ridgeway Challenge – an 86-mile off-road race traversing the entire length of the ancient Ridgeway track through the Chiltern Hills.

The route runs from the top of the Ivinghoe Beacon, before heading to Grim’s Ditch and Barbury Castle – with some 9,000 feet of ascent.

Martin Arnold and Rob Deane took on the Vitruvian, a half-Ironman distance triathlon

Martin Arnold and Rob Deane took on the Vitruvian, a half-Ironman distance triathlon

Both men placed in the top-10 of the gruelling event, which started at 12 noon at the Monument in Ashridge, running non-stop through the night and finishing just after 3am. The race also doubled as the UK Trail Running Championship Ultra Distance.

Marlow finished fourth overall for the men, and won the national ultra trail running title for the VM35 category in a time of 15h 46m.

He ran in third place for most of the final 30 miles, but missed the final course marker and went off-course, which added an extra four miles to his race, but held on for fourth.

Hamilton, meanwhile, ran a steady race, working his way up to sixth male overall in a time of 16h 12m after passing the halfway mark in ninth position.

At 27, he was the youngest man in the top-12 by eight years. The two were among 94 finishers of the race; such was the difficulty of the event that nearly a quarter of the starters failed to reach the finish line.

In other news, two members of the D&T triathlon section, Martin Arnold and Rob Deane, took on the Vitruvian, a half-Ironman distance triathlon at Rutland Water in Leicestershire – one of the UK’s most iconic triathlon events, comprising a 1,900m swim, an 85km bike and a 21km run.

Arnold, who almost lost his life in a hit and run accident while cycling in 2004, finished a brilliant 29th out of 78 athletes in his VM50-54 age group, with a time of 5.17.16.

Arnold has competed in dozens of half and full-length Ironman triathlons over the past decade, with considerable age group success.

Deane, meanwhile, was delighted with his time of 6:46:14, in what was his first ever attempt at the distance, only a year after taking up the sport.

Chris Keen travelled to his hometown of Norwich to compete in the inaugural Run Norwich race – a 10k race through the city centre – finishing in a time of 1:05:00.

In parkrun news, Rhys Rowlands had a fine first outing at Gadebridge parkrun, finishing second overall in 19.09, and first JM15-17, with Keith Wishart close behind in 7th, in 22.14 (first VM45-49).

Martin Kerr also had a great first run at Gadebridge, finishing in 23.38, with Sam Burnell next, 20th overall in 24.15 (first JM11.14). Right after Sam were Samantha Sullivan, second female in 24.16 (first VF40-45), and Karen Wishart, third female in 24.27 (first VW45-49).

Andy Mitchell clocked a new PB of 25.44, as did seven-year old Rachel Belsey, who crossed the line in 26.37 for first JW10, just two seconds ahead of her dad Richard.

Volunteering on the day were Anna and Daniel Belsey, Amy Berth, Jan Briggs, Meg Brooks, Sam Fawcett, Ant Gomm, John Jales, Kerrie and Chris Keen, Danielle Kerr, Jamie Marlow, Kirsty Russell and Jess Tanner.

Richard Slack finished eighth overall at Cassiobury parkrun in a new PB of 19.02 and second in the VM35-39 age group.

Chris Kitchener set a new PB of 19.34, for second in the VM45-49 age group, while John Slack was next in 25.31, fast enough for first VM65-69.

Indira Patel held up the side at Tring, finishing 17th overall in 23.26, for second female and first JW11-14.

Dave Stears kept his training on course with a new PB down at the Poole parkrun, finishing in 24 minutes for 219th overall out of 667 runners.

Elsewhere around the UK, Kate Hopper ran in Warrington, finishing in 32.36 (third JW10) and John Cooper ran 28.26 at the Chichester parkrun (second VM65-69).