Surrey Hills AONB offers the Ultra Challenge
Just over five hours for 60K with 1,656m of climbing – take a bow, David Phillips
Six race distances; 455 competitors and one Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That just about sums up the Surrey Hills Challenge held on the Greensand Way on Sunday (26 September) raising funds for Surrey Hills Trust Fund, part of the Community Foundation for Surrey.
The flagship event was the Ultra – a 60K slog that is not for the faint-hearted with 1,656m of ascent and a 12-hour time limit. The race starts in Haslemere and follows Greensand Way to the infamous Devil's Punchbowl, a large natural amphitheatre, through National Trust land.
Six aid stations are staffed by experienced and friendly volunteers. The Ultra competitors are joined by participants in the Full Marathon and both distances finish at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking. The Full joins the Ultra course at Witley train station and has a mere 1,150m of climbing!
The Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Kids Run are all based on loop courses from Denbies Wine Estate and all except the Kids Run have a significant amount of climbing too – more than enough to justify the Challenge part of the event name!
So who were the toughs of the tracks? Just over five hours after setting off from Haslemere town centre, David Phillips crossed the Ultra finish line in Dorking in 5:02:29. Eszter Adam (7:01:47) was the first female, just under two hours behind, travelling at 6:54/km pace.
The Full winners were Henry Robertshaw (3:54:32) and April Kitchener (4:47:40) while the Half champions this year were Stephen Root (1:54:46) and Ria Woodfield (2:07:01).
David Thompson (47:57) zipped to success in the 10K along with Issy Stewart (55:22) and the 5K leaders were Roger Bartholomew (27:48) and Carrie Kenworthy (29:42). Finally, the 1K dash for the youngsters was led by Jake Seward (4:51) and Valentina James-Rea (5:12).
The atmosphere at this bucket list event can be enjoyed here:
Full results are available via runABC South's race listing service here
Image courtesy Surrey Hills Challenge on Facebook