King Offa's Dyke Race
Friday 8 pm 23 September 2016 to Tuesday 8 pm 27 September 2016
185 miles (297.7 km); 29,806 feet (9,085 m) of ascent
The course follows the Offa's Dyke national trail path from near Chepstow in South Wales to Prestatyn in North Wales. The route roughly follows the boundary between England and Wales and crosses numerous counties in both England and Wales; passes several towns and villages and ascends more hills than I care to remember including the Black Mountains and the Clwydian Range giving a cumulative ascent and descent surpassing sea level to the summit of Everest. There was a 96 hour (four day) cut-off with any resting or sleeping eating into the time available.
First Man: John Knapp 52 hours 26 minutes
First Lady: Michelle Bowen Joint 4th overall 62 hours 15 minutes
Steven Jones: Dark Peak Fell Runners 21st 83 hours 49 minutes
Weather: Initially good and no rain. Later there was lots of rain on the way to Knighton and in the night it was torrential. It eased off a bit but resumed at Chirk and got more intense on the Clwydian Range of hills but stopped again later.
The general consensus amongst the survivors was that it had been a tough event but thoroughly enjoyable (in a strange sort of way).
For those who didn't relish the prospect of the full 185 miles there was the shorter option of the Mercian Challenge 100 miles (which was the first 100 miles of the King Offa's Dyke Race and finishing at Montgomery):
1st Tom Bentley-Taylor 25 hours and no minutes
1st lady and 3rd overall Cristina Puccini 37 hours 40 minutes