Two City of Salisbury athletes took on the endurance challenge of the inaugural 44 mile Test Way ultra marathon and they were sorely tested by the mileage – it was the furthest either had ever run before – as well as torrential hailstorms. Both completed the distance after an 11hour effort, writes John Ruskin.
From Combe Gibbet high on the Berkshire Downs, Liz Roberts and Di Cross made a good start on the long haul south, but by mile 40 the off-road course became a real test and both were hugely relieved to cross the Totton finish line near Southampton, no small accomplishment.
Also enjoying a hilltop start, Stuart Holloway added further to his haul of race wins this year by smashing the course record on the 16miles of the Combe Gibbet to Overton multi terrain event, his 1hour 29min 55sec putting nearly four minutes between himself and his nearest challenger.
Craig Murphy was well inside the top 50 finishers with a good 2.04.55, then came Fiona Ross-Russell in 2.15.19, followed by Richard Larcombe 2.18.24, John Kershaw 2.28.52 and Mel Murphy 2.30.29.
Phil Perry completed his third marathon of the year in Manchester with a determined 3.42.59 and at the Lincoln 10k Nick Hudson scored a personal best 41min 58sec.
The 21st Figsbury Challenge at Winterbourne Earls attracted a big entry with overall honours for the main 5k event going to City of Salisbury’s Fabrice Webb in a fine 16min 24sec, with parkrun specialist Polly Jacobs winner of the women’s race in 18.48. The club’s Louise Webb won the 11-16 age group in 18.53.
Other club finishers were: Andrew Holme 16.53, Ben Stott 17.29, Guy Mitchell 18.11, Mark Cole 18.52, Jon Kershaw 20.39, Ellen Tilly 21.26 and Tasha Mundell 22.14.
In the 3k, Thomas Holme was first, with Joseph Hole third, and Olivier Glover was winner of the girls’ race.
This Sunday sees the city’s biggest road race of the year, the Salisbury 10mile at Five Rivers track and the Woodford Valley, with a full field of 850 runners facing the starter at 10am.