Round Rotherham Trail Race 2003 - with electronic punching.

Full results for this year's Round Rotherham are now posted on our web site at (as you will have seen!)

Don Gill's report from The Rotherham Advertiser, 19 Dec 2003

AN EXCITING finish to Saturday's annual Rowbotham's Round Rotherham Ultra Distance Trail Race saw Derby man Andy Brooks claim victory in the 50 mile grueller for the second time in his career.

Right up to the closing stages the 35 year old Shelton Strider looked like having to settle for second place. But with the finish at Brampton Leisure Centre almost in sight he caught Scotsman Les Hill to repeat his win of 1999.

A tired but happy Brooks said: "At the start my aim was to finish in the top three and for most of the race it looked as if at best I would be second. It was cat and mouse all the way between me and Les and I am delighted to have won it again as it makes all the training worth-while. The underfoot conditions and mild weather were the best that I have known and enabled me to record my fastest ever time for this event."

Brooks, who was third in the 2002 race, logged a time of 7 hours 4 minutes 58 seconds which brought him in ahead of Scottish international Hill (7:12.35) who improved on last year's 14th place.

Rotherham Harrier and defending ,champion 42 years old Kerry Booth went on to finish third timed at 7:35.06. The brave Marsters (7:44.17) crossed the line in fifth place and with Swinton's Mike Armstrong (7:48.25) in sixth the team trophy went to the Harriers trio of Booth, Marsters and Armstrong. Tenth place among the field of 102 starters went to Kimberworth Strider Stuart Wright (8: 10.28) followed by Rother Valley Strider David Devine (16th, 9:19.07) and Striders Gary Willoughby (19th, 9:34.32), Phil Widdowson (19th, 9:34.32) and Karl Smiles (21st. 9:40.16).

There was a double triumph in the 'ladies race when Rotherham Harriers Janice Streets and Patricia Muller crossed the finishing line together. Janice (55), who last competed in the event five years ago, and Patricia (49), who previously competed in the race as a walker, ran all the way together and were only too happy to share the honours in a time of 9:56.17.

The victory completed a remarkable personal winning double for Janice as she became the first women to have won both the Round Rotherham Run and the 25 mile Round Rotherham Walk.

Reclaiming their title in the eight stage relay contested by a record turn- out of 18 teams, was the Rotherham Harriers men's squad of Mark Ruddleston, John Comrie, Peter Neal, Terry Eastwood, Alan Chell, John Atkinson, Nigel Brooks and Peter Mirrlees with their total time of 5:35.29.

Runners up were defending champions Kimberworth Striders Martin Broadhead, Shaun Hogton, Phil Roberts, Steve Ford, Peter Bunker, Keith Ward, Phil Martin and Pat Rooney (5:41.59) with the Mexborough Pulse Gym team in third place (6.02.17).

Rotherham Harriers won the ladies relay race with the squad of Paula Fisher, Patricia Wells, Gillian Bunker, Sharon Burton, Jacqueline Shannon, Hilary Garrison and Julia Jennings taking the honours after clocking 7:15.56.

Best mixed team winners were Dumfries Running Club (6:22.29) with the Goodenough College (7:14.44) out- fit finishing first non-athletic club.

The squad had set off from Central London at 4am in the morning thinking that they were going to compete in a road relay rather than map reading their own way around a route which took in footpaths, towpaths, tracks and roads. Despite most of their runners never having travelled north of Watford before they enjoyed their adventure in South Yorkshire and the Northern hospitality and vowed to return next year. 

Other local teams included Maltby RC's (6:23.43) fifth placers of Steve Durdy, Caroline Boyd, Andy Thompson, Gary Durham, Barbara Rusling, Lyndsay Rust, Paddy Geoghan and Brian Lowndes and the Rother Valley Swallows (6:34.45) outfit of Stuart Lake, Brian Devine, Andy Smith, Christine Kirk, Karen Bentley, Paula Kelsey, Beverley Lake and Russell Hughes which finished sixth.

And what of veteran duo Barry Bedford (62) and Les Huxley (58) who last year did not return to base while the early hours of Sunday morning?

Although this time around the Barnsley AC men made it to the finish on the same day that they started it was after llpm when they reached Brampton. Harriers' ultra distance inter- national Brian Harney who helped organise the event said: "We took the decision to ask the pair to pull out when they reached the 34 mile mark at Firbeck at around 4.30pm. It was getting dark, they still had 16 miles to go and as they did not have a torch we considered that it would be safer if they called it a day.

"We told them that they were well behind all the other competitors and that we were withdrawing the marshals from the checkpoints. They were quite all right about it but said that they were determined to finish. I told them it was their responsibility. But I was still at Brampton to see them finish at 11.20pm and knew that they had eventually made a safe return."


Well done Dumfries - your recce run seems to have been effective!

For those who missed it, the Round Rotherham is an ultra-distance cross country trail event following the approximate route of the ROTHERHAM boundary, for 50 miles / 80 km along footpaths, towpaths, tracks and roads, based on an idea from club secretary Ralph Rowbotham. There were 104 starters, walkers, slow and fast runners (of whom 93 finished) and an 8-stage relay with 18 teams.

From Athletics Weekly  

I didn't bother to buy a copy; it just gave the bare results, 1,2,3,  giving the individual result under the title of  Round Rotherham Relay.


Date for the diary: 
The next Round Rotherham is scheduled for the second Saturday in December, viz 11th December 2004

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File updated 21 July 2007 00:06:32