Determined Worksop Harriers join the ranks of ultra runners

All eight competing Worksop Harriers made themselves official ultra runners, covering over the marathon distance, at the Rasselbock Backyard Ultra at Sherwood Pines last weekend, writes John Harrison.
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In a field of about 150 runners, there some excellent runs and a fantastic club collective as many gave up both time and sleep to push the runners onto great things.

Starting at noon on the Saturday, runners have exactly one hour to complete a 4.166 mile trail loop that brings them back to the start point and base camp.

Runners may cover the loop as quickly as they like with the only requirement that they are back on the start line ready for the next lap, on the hour, every hour, until there is only one left standing.

Worksop Harriers at the Back Yard Ultra.Worksop Harriers at the Back Yard Ultra.
Worksop Harriers at the Back Yard Ultra.

Although 4.166 sounds an odd-distance, 24 laps of 4.166 miles means 100 miles covered in under 24 hours; a coveted ‘gold-standard’ for the ultra runner.

Stu McCluskie had his first taste of the BYU as he become the first DNF on seven laps for 29.2 miles, whilst Kate Thorneloe cut in to double figures with 10 laps (41.7 miles).

Finishing in the very early and cold hours of the morning, first time BYUer Hannah Miller hit 15 laps (62.5 miles) whilst Henry Brady surpassed last year with 16 laps (66.6 miles).

It would be another eight laps before the next Harrier DNF as four kept going chasing the elusive 100 dream with great success as Natalie Cunningham, Chris Johnson and Adam Jonczyk hung in right to end, ringing the DNF bell on an incredible 24 laps, covering the 100 mile in under 24 hours, finishing exhausted, relieved but extremely satisfied.

The final Harrier was back this year with a desire to set the record straight after narrowly missing the 24 laps last year, falling short by just two laps.

No such misery this time as Matt Daly cruised in for 24 laps with energy still left in the tank and went on to chase those missing 2023 laps to finish on 26 laps for an incredible 108.2 miles and to make it 200 miles from two BYUs.

At a muddy Belvoir Castle, Sam and Paul Marriott were joined by Tanja Maric in the Belvoir challenge.

It is certainly not a PB course with plenty of hills to go with the mud bath, but Sam and Tanja completed the challenging marathon in just over six hours.

Paul made a very literal last minute decision to enter. And despite wearing very unsuitable road shoes still finished a respectable 19th in 2:15 on the 15 mile challenge.

There was great representation from Worksop's juniors for Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands Sports Hall Regional Match.

Eliza de Villars represented in the U11G whilst Isaac Beresford and George North were in the U11B.

Three girls were in the U13G with Heidi Marks, Summer Johnson and Emilia Jonczyk while Henry Marks made the U13B.

Finally, in the U15G Harriers had Ceryn Greaves and Freddie Marks and Travis Revell in the U15B.

Isaac Beresford also collected his Male overall Athlete of the Year award for Notts Boys after a great season.

Isaac also took part in the ISA National XC and was joined by Theo Bezoari-Oldfield with a brilliant fourth place finish.