Runners at the Roche Abbey Autumn Trail

Running to order at Roche Abbey

Caths Cakes made a welcome return at this trail fest

Roche Abbey Autumn Trail (Sunday 27 September) is a jewel in the It’s Grim Up North Running (IGUN) crown with its choice of distances, mixture of terrain and stunning countryside. This was still the case at this Covid-secure event where runners tackled hills and nettles as they completed multiple laps in and around the ruins of the 12th century Roche Abbey. 

A Grade II listed building, Roche Abbey is described as a: “Fabulous hidden gem often overlooked as a place to visit in South Yorkshire”. It received a stream of visitors on Sunday as over 130 runners passed under the Gothic arches before continuing on their way in their chosen distance whilst practicing social distancing. 

There were 5 races to pick from: 10K, Half Marathon, 20 Miles, Marathon and Ultra, all of which was held on a 6.55 mile loop.  

Groups of six started every 5 minutes and made their way round on forest tracks, grass, cobbles, gravel and through fields. There was a small section of road and pavement and stepping stones to cross and hills to climb. There were more than a few nettles which is where calf guards or long socks proved to be useful. 

Jonathan Frary was first male in the Ultra, finishing in 4:22:48. 

Darren Jenness of the 100 Marathon Club won the Marathon in 3:24:56. Claire Armstrong was the winning lady in 4:21:56.

In the 20 Miles, David Robinson was the winner in 2:24:36. Katrina Muldoon the first lady in 3:30:22. 

Over in the Half Marathon, Jarrod Gritt of Royton Road Runners took first place in 1:24:24. Kat Wisniewski the first female in 1:56:29.

It was a win for Scott Muldoon in the 10K, coming home in 45:17. Paula Harrison won the women’s race in 47:30.

There was a treat in store for all the finishers who received one of Cath’s famous homemade cakes along with a bespoke medal, chocolate and beer in their goody bag. A sweet ending to the day.

Image courtesy of Andrew Swales Photography

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