SIX teams from Tattenhall Runners tackled the controversial Original Mountain Marathon in the Lake District and managed to emerge unscathed from a remarkable day.
The event attracted national headlines at the weekend as it had to be cancelled after hundreds of competitors were left stranded by flooding and torrential rain.
Runners from Tattenhall got on and off the fells safely but had to tackle the atrocious mix of strong winds and driving, heavy rain.
Pete Taylor and Vince van Woerkom formed a super-fast team, taking part in the long score class, with Mark Smith and Paul Miller also competing in the same category. Taylor and van Woerkom’s hopes were dashed before everyone else’s when the latter turned an ankle on the high tops after 90 minutes. They made a wise decision to get off the hill, without knowing that the race was to be called off.
Smith and Miller completed the entire first day of the long score class and made their way towards the overnight camp in just under six hours, only to be told the race was off. Both long score teams made their way back to the race HQ, but it was cut off to vehicles by the floods so they slept in their cars.
Dave Sykes and partner Jon Swan completed the B class course on day one, as did OMM debutants Richard Barratt and Mike McCorkhill as well as Martin Hilton and a running partner from another club. They all made it to the overnight camp to be told the race was off. Barratt and McCorkhill celebrated the latter’s birthday by sleeping in a cowshed, while Sykes and Swan made it back to their car for an uncomfortable night. Hilton was escorted via the Honister Mine bus to Cockermouth.
Andrew Gooda and his wife Sarah also made it round safely on the C class course before a night in the car. The stranded but safe couple were among those who found shelter at Borrowdale, where they had discovered soup and other basic supplies.
Tattenhall Runners’ Andy Blair smashed his marathon personal best in the Amsterdam Marathon with a fine time of three hours, 30 minutes and 19 seconds. Club colleague Helen Jones completed the race in a superb 4:39.39, putting in a really gutsy run after falling badly after six miles.
Several Tattenhallers took part in the half marathon and were led home by Sara Atkinson in 1:27:53 as 15th fastest lady.