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Dartmoor Discovery 2023 Race Report John Ludlam

Dartmoor Discovery ultramarathon start

Dartmoor Discovery 2023 start Photo John Ludlam

Twenty-year-old Joe Beaton becomes youngest-ever winner of the DD
Kirsteen Welch smashes longstanding ladies’ course record

Newton Abbot, June 5, 2021 — Records tumbled at the 2023 Dartmoor Discovery (DD) on Saturday (June 3), as twenty-year-old Joe Beaton became the event’s youngest-ever winner, storming round the famously tough course in a time of 3:44:50.

Ladies’ winner, Exeter Harrier Kirsteen Welch, pulled off an extraordinary run, shrugging off the oppressive heat to post a new course record of 3:59:52. The previous record of 4:02:36 had stood since 2008. Kirsteen was also fifth overall, underlining how impressive her performance was.

Joe and Kirsteen were both running the DD for the first time on Saturday. Race Director Liz Barnett said: ‘It was incredible to see a newcomer to the DD win the race, especially when you consider Joe is our youngest-ever winner. With Kirsteen, another DD newcomer, smashing the ladies’ course record, it was certainly a race to remember. Joe and Kirsteen’s youthful energy and dedication promise much for the future of ultra running. I have great admiration for anyone who takes on the DD, even more so this year with the weather being so hot.’

Sam Larkham, of Tavistock AC was second, finishing in 3:53:45. Axe Valley Runner Ryan Snell came third, in a time of 3:56:47. Joanne Robinson of Looe Pioneers was second lady, finishing in 4:43:55. Westbury Harrier Hannah Large was third, in a time of 4:47:21.

Joe Beaton’s victory was part of DD family double act: his mother, Janette Beaton, of the Plymouth Falconers, also completed the race on Saturday, crossing the line in a time of 5:38:52.

Once again, race headquarters at Princetown Community Centre as was buzzing with runners and their supporters all weekend. Guest of honour Steve Edwards, who presented the prizes, gave a talk about his quest to complete 1,000 marathons after Friday night’s Pasta Party. Runners were able to loosen their tired legs with a disco on Saturday evening. Camping and motorhome facilities were also available.

Liz Barnett said: ‘As always, putting this event on is a huge team effort and I would like to thank everyone who helped make it happen. I would also like to thank Princetown Community Centre for their continued support in allowing us to use their fantastic facilities and the wider Princetown community for embracing the DD.’

The DD, which starts and finishes in Princetown, is organised by leading South West running club the Teignbridge Trotters. Renowned for breathtaking views, equally breathtaking hills and weather that always surprises, the DD is the UK’s longest single-lap road race. This year, 149 finishers crossed the line, out of a starting line-up of 162 runners.

The DD always features a fierce battle for the event’s coveted team trophies. In the men’s team event, Teignbridge Trotters Roger Easterbrook (4:19:52), Jamie Barnett (4:57:15) and Christian Robinson (5:29:17) lifted the trophy for the 11th time. Joanne Robinson led the Looe Pioneers home to their first Ladies’ team victory, ably supported by Emma Langstaff (5:04:38) and Sally Crabb (5:57:08).

Also running for the Teignbridge Trotters were: Susanna Goffe (5:04:42), Phil Smith (5:32:43), Phil Dunning (5:50:26), Stephen Barker (5:55:43), Paul Sharples (5:57:49), Sharon Sharples (6:29:46) and Tim Synge (6:30:00).

Behind the scenes, the Teignbridge Trotters assembled a formidable team to ensure the event was conducted safely and smoothly. Around 150 people contributed a wide range of skills, including marshalling, timekeeping and catering. Divine Sound and a2e Medical Services supplied public address and first aid services.

This year’s sponsors were Sibelco, CBE, MI Plant, Ilsington Country House Hotel, JN Lark and Empire Scaffold.

Race website:
Dartmoor Discovery website.

Related Link
Ultrarunning World Special Edition 3 The Dartmoor Discovery