LEICESTER runners braved the mud and bad weather yesterday to tackle one of the most scenic and difficult courses on the county’s running calendar.
Hundreds of runners took part in the 34th ‘Charnwood Hills Race’, on Sunday (February 6), a 14-mile running event which follows public footpaths and open country around Charnwood.
The course includes 1,200 feet of ascent over Bradgate Park, Broombriggs and Beacon Hill Country Parks.
The eventual winner was Tom Evans, who completed the course in a time of 1:25:14. He was followed by Markfield’s Tony Woodward, who came in ten minutes later in a time of 1:35:15.
Francis Lynch, who competes for Leicester’s West End Runners, finished third in a time of 1:38:53.
Speaking after the race, Mr Woodward told The Leicester Times: “It was really tough with the wind. They sent us up twice over Old John so that was really hard. There was a headwind all the way up.”
First female back to Anstey’s Martin High School, where the race finished and started, was Claire Frankland of West End Runners, with a time of 1:45:37.
“I really enjoyed the first half, which is probably the hillier half and then it was just a race for home after that,” she said.
“After waking up with the horrible weather I was a little bit nervous, but then it got a little bit sunnier and it was great,” she added.
Ms Frankland was followed promptly by Lucy Gossage and Amy Sarkies, who came home in times of 1:47:09 and 1:49:11 respectively.
“It was absolutely great to be back again. Thanks to all the runners, marshalls, supporters and committee for making it a fab day,” said a spokesman for the race, which is hosted by Bowline Climbing Club.
Leicester’s Phil Chritchlow, who came in fourth place (1:38:53), has done completed the Charnwood Hills ten times in total.
“It’s a good challenge and it sets you up for any other races you want to do,” he said.
“The conditions weren’t too bad apart from the mud. I really enjoyed it.”
For a full list of results, visit: www.bowlineclimbingclub.co.uk