Reports on RRR 2006

  Round Rotherham page, RHAC page, Full Results Page

One of the warmest, driest days we have had for the Round Rotherham (and we have been blessed with reasonably good weather in recent years) - even after dark the temperature did not drop too much so that a single long sleeve top served all day.  There had been plenty of rain in the weeks leading up to the event, but the drying wind meant there were few places where the mud was a serious impediment.  I even ran across the field towards Wallingwells, usually a quagmire.  Now, if the event had been on the Sunday.....

Rotherham Advertiser, by Don Gill

VICTORIOUS Jez Bragg navigated his way around 50 miles of muddy paths, tracks and roads on Saturday to successfully defend his title in the 24th staging of Rowbotham's Round Rotherham ultra distance trail race.

The Rotherham Harriers-organised event saw Bragg (25) knock six minutes off his last year's effort by clocking an impressive 6 hours 27 minutes 7 seconds-once again the second fastest achieved in the history of the race behind Rotherham Harrier Chris Parkes' 1996 course record of 6:17.

Like last year Bragg, from Solihull, left nothing to chance in his pre-race preparation and came to Rotherham three weeks ago to refresh his memory of the route that this time around start- ed and finished at the new venue of Dearne Valley College.

Bragg was delighted with his victory. He said: "The muddy underfoot conditions were difficult but the weather was excellent for running.

"I did not need to refer to my map this time and I was able to run quicker because I am fitter and more experienced.

"In June I won the 95-mile Scottish West Highland Way in a course record 15 hours 44 minutes. The Round Rotherham has great prestige within the sport of ultra distance running and it is a great thrill to have won it for a second time.

"When I set off I had it in my mind to try and break the course record. I gave it my best and I have a great respect for Chris Parkes for establishing what will be a very difficult record to beat."

Bingley Harrier Ian Hill (47) completed the course for the first time in three starts to finish second in 7:09.01. Dumfries Running Club athlete Paul Hart (37), who was 17th last year, improved his time by a remarkable two hours to claim third in 7:14.02.

His team mate, 2004 winner Les Hill, who was second in 2003 and third last year, maintained his terrific record to finish fourth on 7:28.42.

First Rotherham Harrier across the finishing line in eighth place among the field of 175 runners and 66 walkers was Edinburgh-based William Watson (44) who recorded a personal best of 7:37.58.

Experienced local runners in the top 20 competitors included Kimberworth Strider Martyn Gaynor who was 17th in 8:02 along with Rotherham Harriers Mick Marsters (18th, 8-02) and 2002 winner Kelly Booth (19th, 8:06). The Macclesfield trio of 10th placed Jul!" Brown, 12th placed Mark Hartell and 13th -placed Stephen Watts won the men's team award.

Sheffield University student Jennifer Dick (31) took the honours in the women's race.

The Canadian National l00 km team member from Toronto recorded a time of 8:38.15 to lead home North Yorkshire's Cath Worth and Coventry 's Ann Wade.

Kimberworth Striders won the eight-stage relay that attracted a record turnout of 20 teams.  Their squad, which recorded a time of 5:50, included Martin Broadhead, Dan Birkinshaw, Shaun Hogton, Steve Ford, Ian Hetherington, Roy Nixon, Pat Rooney and Ian Soakell. Rother Valley Swallows Richard Harris, Paula Hughes, Aiden Johnson, Stuart Lake , Lynn Walker, Christine Kirk and Samuel Lake filled second place and were first mixed team.

The Maltby Running Club pairing of Steve Durdy and Andy Thompson that was placed third produced a terrific performance covering the full 50-mile distance between them by running alternate legs.

Rotherham Harriers John Spencer, Kellie Thomason, John Kirk, David Booth, Claire    Lambert, Sharon Merrills, Neil Shaw and Luke Brady were fifth.

Harriers won the ladies team prize through Gillian Taylor, Joanna Walker, Pat Wells, Jenny Horan, Sharon Burton, Paula Fisher, Adele Morris and Wendy Gibson.  Race founder      Ralph Rowbotham presented all the winners with their well-deserved awards.

Athletics Weekly

to be added, if someone can provide a copy


Comment from some satisfied customers (omitting the bits after the "However, " - but will be considered):

 Oh my god was that hard.  But we just wanted to let you know the 2 ladies from America (myself and Elizabeth) cannot stress enough how incredibly lovely everyone at every check point was to us. It was the best race in terms of that and all the people running that helped us out along the way. We met the kindest people ( not knowing the route made it challenging for us even with the map).  So if the check point folks were Rotherham Running club members, please extend our warmest thanks and wishes for a Happy Holiday. And thank you for all of your email help!

…due to getting lost a few times ( once in a ploughed fields in the dark) and probably doing 56 miles, I think I have got the knack of doing the RRR!   In spite of arriving after the closing time I thoroughly enjoyed the event.  A special thanks to Brian who kept phoning me at the end to see if I was ok and the Woodsetts check point who plied me with a hot drink and sandwiches.  The event was very well organised and the helpers and organisation very helpful and friendly, congratulations on running such a good event.  The fish & chips approaching Maltby were excellent. 

Thanks for your email and results, and thanks to all who made this event such a success. I enjoyed the bulk of it, despite not finishing   …..  I’m looking forward to next year, when I hope to be able to give a performance worthy of the event!

another great race - I think this event gets better every time i do it. good choice for the event hq; the shorter last leg seems to make the distance that bit easier.

Paraphraring one message:  I have been asked to “mention Ben Steel in despatches for giving assistance to a runner who had a seriously bad patch en route and aiding him through to the finish.  This responsible act would have cost him some time.”

Many thanks for a fantastic walk - great weather, great support throughout, an event I can't miss. Heading for my 10th in 2007 

Thanks to everyone involved for a top day out, everything was good, especially whoever organised the weather!

I wish to pass on my thanks to all concerned for what was a wonderfully well run event. Second completion for me after last years disaster (unexpected venture into ditch after Hooton Roberts x-road).  Understand next year will be 25th running? I look forward to attending again.

Thanks to you and the Round Rotherham team for a great day out. The good weather you also organised was a delightful surprise. Even the mud was reasonable going. Best wishes.

Thank you for the email, and an even bigger thank you to you and all the event team for putting on a great day.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was lucky to bump into you coming into Maltby, only to find that you really know your way (I'm the chap that followed you on and off from there on).  I hope that you are not too sore today.  I've only a few minor aches, and overall feel absolutely fantastic.  Hope to see you next year.

A great day out, brilliant weather and good going for a slow walker.

it was great thanks to the organisation

Thanks very much to yourself and everyone involved for a great event

Many thanks for a great event on Saturday. The new venue and the change in the route are improvements, and I'm sure you arranged the weather specially.  Please pass on my thanks to all the marshalls who helped at the College and on the checkpoints.

Thanks for organising this event – even the weather behaved itself.

Many thanks to yourself and your team for a great day, despite the fact I didn’t finish. Looking back I can see that my head, not my legs had gone, which meant the navigation after dark in the evening beat me (having lost the route between checkpoint 5 and 6 and made my way to checkpoint 6 along the main roads it would have been dishonest to continue). Thanks to all the checkpoint staff for the support.
The challenge has now been laid down – I will finish next year!

Henry, hi. Just a quick note to thank you for the Round Rotherham 50. It was the 5th and final of the 5 Big Races I had selected for Cancer Research this year, and managed to raise over £7,000. The race was great. Excellent organisation and special thanks to all the checkpoint helpers for their time and effort. We were lucky with the weather on the day but the mud from weeks of rain made going extremely hard at times. I was lucky to tie up with previous runners as although the Wainright style directions were very good - I can get lost anywhere ....and did. Once again, all the best to you and everyone involved in the event.

Thanks to you and all your team for all the hard work. The new centre was a success from my point of view and hope you did not have any problems. I have written a report which is on the Portobello website which you can use if you like. I have pinched some photo's off your website. I hope that is ok. (you are welcome, Henry) If not I will delete them. Hopefully I will get some more people to come down next year.

A big thank you to everyone involved in organising the event, preparing food, etc. It all seemed to run along very smoothly and the support was very much appreciated,

Firstly, many thanks for another brilliant event. I really enjoy the surreal atmosphere early in the morning, and it's quite exciting when the relay runners start coming through. The check-point marshalls were fantastic.  Hope to see you again next year

Just a quick email to thank you for the race held two weeks ago. This was my first 'ultra marathon' and I dont think I could have found a friendlier race to start with. I enjoyed every minute of the race and even enjoyed the gym floor the night before. I was one of the marathon des sables competitors who turned out to see if we were capable of the mileage. The organisation was first rate, and the checkpoints were unbelievable, please send on my thanks to all those involved-.  Thanks very much an excellent day.
Thanks for the splits, and for organising the race - it was my first 50-miler, but I enjoyed it a lot and I certainly hope to be back to try to improve on my time next year!

My first ultra and what an experience - ice, mud and stiles by the score. Apart from the conditions underfoot the BIG challenge is navigation, particularly if you are out after dark at the back end of the race. Following muddy tracks across muddy fields and rough ground is challenging to say the least - and proved my undoing. However, if you are after a runner's high, this event can provide it, together with sore quads for a few days as a momento. Get out there and try it, you might just enjoy this one.

For a tenner events dont come much better than this. Ok a 50 mile ultra might not be for everyone, but if you can do a marathon you can do this. SO MUCH time and effort goes into this event, it really is somehting different you can do as the year comes to an end. If you are reading this and thinking...shall I? DO IT....2007 is the 25th running of this.  Where else can you do an event that has food at all of the 8 checkpoints, (not just a few jelly babies either...cakes, sarnies, soup) a cheery smile and encouragement from the many volunteers (thanks AGAIN TO YOU ALL!) a meal at the end, endless cups of tea, showers, a t-shirt and patch as a momento and also a certificate and full results/split times sent a while after in the post!?!??  (here now – Henry)

Fantastic long, muddy run around Rotherham 's border. It shouldn't work, but it does. This was my first attempt at any race longer than the Dartmoor 32 miler and enjoyed it thoroughly. I did whine about the pain all race, but loved it in a sick kind of way. The high standard surpised me, but everyone was friendly and i would reccommend it to anyone who doesn't mind legs that don't work for a few days.

Also see the Runner’s World Forum for the event.  Navigate to RRR in past (and future) events selecting Ultra, December



Take me to the Round Rotherham page, RHAC page, Full Results Page


Last Updated on 22 July, 2007 01:04:56
By Henry Marston,
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