SCOTT Ultra Series – Race THREE
Northants “Shires and Spires” Ultra 35
Once again Shires and Spires was blessed with glorious weather for the 7th running of Northamptonshire’s premier Ultramarathon and round three of the SCOTT Ultra Series. This year the course record times remained intact but the Event boasted its largest ever starting field and greatest number of finishers. Ultra running is blossoming in popularity and with scenery such as that seen around Northamptonshire on offer, it is no wonder.
The men’s race was a fairly close run affair with Chris Bookman, Matt Fowler and David Green in close company through the first three check points. However, Chris made a decisive move between check points 3 and 4 to open a four minute lead over 2nd and 3rd places. Chris took the win in an impressive 4 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds. Matt and David remained in close order through the last check point but Matt was able to eek out a 1 minute lead before reaching the finish line taking 2nd in 04:22:23. In 3rd place David posted an equally excellent time of 04:22:33.
The ladies race was an interesting one and, with Susie Chesher (this year’s Thames Trot 50 ladies winner and new course record holder) and Gemma Carter (current treadmill 50km world record holder) on the start line, looked like it could be a hot race. However, on this occasion the hot young talent was shown how it is done by the Female Vet 40 winner and overall ladies winner Maree Jesson. Susie and Gemma took the lead early on and passed though check point 1 together with a 1 minute lead over Maree. It didn’t stay that way. By CP 2 Maree was in the lead and consistently posted the fastest splits for the rest of the race finishing in an excellent 4 hours 56 minutes 32 seconds. Susie and Gemma continued to run in close company through CP 4 but by CP 5 Susie had opened a 4 minute lead and went on to take 2nd place in 05:04:18. Not far behind Gemma came home 3rd in 05:11:07.
In the team competition Kettering Town Harriers came to win with a hand pick team, and win they did… with some style. Northampton Road Runners took 2nd place and Wellingborough and District AC finish the podium off with 3rd.
Behind the racing snakes at the front many runners took their first tentative steps into the world of ultra-running, made new friends, conquered personal goals, raised money for good causes and gained new stories to tell. As always immense praise and thanks was voiced for the enthusiastic Go Beyond Events Team and, of course, for the legendary Go Beyond Fruit Cake on offer at all of the aid stations.
Our thanks go out to the estate team at Lamport Hall and Gardens who have, as always, been very supportive and I feel privileged that we get to base the race in such stunning surroundings. We also thank Boston Therapeutic Massage who worked tirelessly at the finish working their own particular brand of magic on tired and aching legs and Adrian Howes Photography for capturing your achievements. Of course special thanks go to our sponsors and retail partners SCOTT Sports and Apex Sports for helping to make sure the event can take place.
Race website: Gobeyondultra.co.uk
Race Results (pdf download)
Go Beyond events are used to generate charitable funding for Teach Africa.