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North Cornwall Ultra 2024 start

Never Give Up!

Sign of the times as Endurancelife marshal saves the day in Cornwall...

Never Give Up is the wholly appropriate motto for Endurancelife events and that was the mantra followed by the 400 finishers in the North Cornwall Ultra, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K starting from a chilly Polzeath Beach on Saturday 13 January 2024.

The Ultra and Marathon competitors were first to start at 08:30am (pictured above) followed at hourly intervals by the Half Marathon and finally the 10K runners. The 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon races were held on separate courses and the Ultra comprised the full marathon course plus a lap of the 10K course after passing through the start/finish area.

All the courses included the entire Pentire Peninsula – a headland on the Atlantic coast that is the site of an Iron Age cliff castle first recorded in 1584 when it was known as Pentire Forte. The 10K heads for home after visiting Lundy Bay, while the longer routes follow the coastal path northeastwards to Port Quin, Port Isaac, or Tredardock before turning back on themselves.

With the wild and dramatic Atlantic Sea as a backdrop, this is a spectacular setting for a trail-running adventure. Whilst undoubtedly beautiful, the courses still pack a punch with some significant elevation gain as runners pass through peaceful fishing villages and picturesque valleys before arriving back at the haven of easy-going Polzeath.

All the routes are fully way-marked and beginner-friendly but no amount of planning and preparation by organisers can cover every eventuality, as experienced by 10K competitor Derrick Warren, who was moved to post this message of thanks on Facebook:  "Top work from you all today. Another thank you to the super quick - in reaction and pace - marshal who dragged myself and first place in the 10K back onto the correct route after some arrow tampering."

Derrick (45:53) was runner-up to Steve Reynolds (45:49) thanks to that quick-thinking marshal and the situation was rectified for the leading ladies, Jenny Barber (59:00) and Hannah Powell (61:37).

The top two in the Half Marathon were Jake Keast (1:47:16) and Nicholas Latham (1:52:14) as Fiona Pascall (2:02:30) – fifth overall – took the women's prize from Miriam McDowell (2:18:40).

Only Luke Roberts (3:55:43) went under four hours in the Marathon, winning comfortably from Alex Marples (4:16:54) as sixth-placed Lucy Longbottom (4:50:03) won the women's race from Charlie Ramsdale (5:01:27).

Finally, the Ultra was won by Rick Nicholls (5:04:20) from the early leader Tony James (5:12:26). Mary Marshall (5:50:57) was the first female from Lottie Fulton (6:33:56).

Full results can be found via the runABC South race listing here.

Photo of race start courtesy Toby Lowe Photography for Endurancelife on Facebook

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