Reports on RRR 2023

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Rotherham Advertiser  Thursday 12th October 2023

(Not with the skilled layout of The Advertiser, but it's all here!)

Round Rotherham run is still going strong at 40

A STRONG turnout and fine weather marked the 40th Round Rotherham Run.

A total of 195 starters, nearly a quarter up on last year's figure, took to the start line at Manvers Waterfront Boat Club on Saturday morning, with some of the slower walks starting in the wee small hours.

The 50-mile route circumnavigated the borough, taking in checkpoints including Grange, Treeton, Harthill, Woodsetts, Firbeck, Maltby and Hooton Roberts before the finish back at Manvers.

Two familiar names were the first and second home as last year's runner-up, Rory Harris, clocked 6hrs 52 mins 14 secs to beat 2022 winner Kevin Hoult of Calder Valley Fell Runners, who crossed the line a distance back in 7hrs 3omins 535ec5.

Harris, unattached, thus reclaimed the crown he won in 2021 having finished second to Hoult by seven seconds last year.

Third-placed runner was Lawrence Eccles of Penny Lane Striders in 7:56.28.

First female was Lisa Walbridge of 100 Marathon Club in 8:38.41 while the highest-placed local competitor was Neil White of Rotherham Running Club in 9:29.14.

Worksop Harriers' mixed team beat their open/male team to the Relay title while Kimberworth Striders were the Female winners.

The awards for fastest Rotherham Harriers went to Lee Carratt (10:46.20) and Nils Hofmann (10:46.27).

With it being the 40th event, Pat Rowbotham, wife of the late Ralph Rowbotham, who founded it, helped out, serving food at the first checkpoint with June Harney, wife of Brian Harney from the organising committee. Ralph's son, Stephen, also took part, finishing just outside the top 20.

Plaques for ten and 20-year Round Rotherham completions went to Jayne Glynn (tenth) and to Julian Brown of Macclesfield Harriers (20th).

"The day went very well," said race secretary Sharon Burton. "People did suffer because of the heat but conditions underfoot were good, if a little bit softer, and the atmosphere back at the race centre was amazing."

Text Box: 
He gave special thanks to everyone who helps make the Round Rotherham a success, including checkpoint volunteers and Sharon and fellow organisers Brian, Kevin and Henry.

TOP MEN: (left to right) runner-up Kevin Hoult, winner Rory       TOP WOMEN: (left to right) runner-up Clare Glazebrook,
Harris, third-placed Lawrence Eccles. Pix: PETER DAVIES.         winner Lisa Walbridge and third-placed Sarah Challans.

NEIL WHITE highest placed Rotherham club runner.                       FLAT OUT: Craige Spencer after the Round Rotherham run. 

Report from Kimberworth Striders

Striders' leading ladies team leave the Babes trailing

THE sun didn't make an appearance as forecast but Kimberworth Striders shone at the Round Rotherham Run.

The Ladies Relay team were the shining lights as they grabbed first place in the taxing circumnavigation of the borough.

Louise Stocks got the ball rolling at Manvers before handing over to Tina Med-lock at Grange Park. Amanda Wassell took charge at Treeton before Frances Coughlan continued from Harthill.

Nicola Smith was waiting at Woodsetts and headed off to Firbeck where Natalie Kaye took over to Maltby. Helen Colton then ran over to Hooton Roberts and Tina Bell ran back to Manvers.

The ladies posted 8:07.28 with a four-minute cushion over the chasing Bassettlaw Babes. The Men's Relay team took second place in their age category, with Johna-than Griffin, Chris Keeler, David Stocks, Liam Swift, Liam Rooney Michael Jell, Lee Rawson and Kevin Doyle timing 6:46.55

Craige Spencer took the Striders' first place in the gruelling Solo division timing 10:13.22 and Andrew Hedison was just behind with 10:17.43. Lauren Corcoran posted 11:39.15 and Louise Taylor 13:33.59

In the the Pairs division Joanne and Pat Rooney did alternate legs and came home in 8:05.12 Lee and Samantha Weatherall returned in 9:28.39

Report for Rotherham Running Club
Great times  and blisters
as RRC front up

GRITTY duo Neil White and Stuart Frith were among the Text Box: 
heroes of the Round Rotherham Run.

Neil was first of the Rotherham Running Club solo runners home in 9:29.14 (MV4o 9th) in the 50-mile trail race while clubmate Stuart refused to let horrific blisters, painful feet, the dark and not knowing the end of the route stop him from crossing the finish line. He clocked 14:01.15 (MV60 16th).

RRC training partners Graham Dodd and Alicea Ledger pushed each other to the limits, finishing in 11:36.03 (MV60 4th) and 11:35:57 (second female open. "We think it was Graham, although he was covered in that much mud after a fall it was difficult to tell," joked RRC's Simon Hopkins. Lauren Beasley finished in 13:33:25 (fifth female open) while Rich Milns battled through illness, getting to 36 miles before having no option but to retire. Angela Wright ran her furthest distance yet, getting to 44.9 miles before listening to her body and retiring safely.

Against all odds, RRC had two relay teams reach the start line - Thunder and Lightning - as Paul Greenwood and Adelle Marsden took two legs for the teams to cover for illnesses and injuries. Lightning came eighth out 25 teams in the relay overall and fifth out of the mixed teams thanks to Neil Grocutt, Paul Greenwood, Jessica Dodds, Adelle Marsden, Joanne Rayner-Johnson, Robin Williamson and Karl Wooffindin. Thunder were 16th out of 25 teams overall and third of the ladies teams due to top efforts from Natalie Lowe, Laura Mann, Louise Siddall, Adelle Marsden, Fiona Earl, Maria Toumazou and Leanne Race.

Stuart Frith finishes in the dark.


Postings from some FaceBook customers

From Les Hill of Dumfries Running Club

Having taken part in the Rowbotham Round Rotherham 50 miles trail race since 2002 I was keen to go back again this year as it was the 40th time the event has been organised. I have completed the full distance as an individual runner eleven times and done bits of it a handful of times as part of a relay team.
At my second attempt at the full race in 2003 I finish 2nd, a year later I WON the race in a time of 7 hours and 7 minutes and then I was 3rd in 2004.
This year I was pleased to get clubmates from Dumfries Running Club to join me in a relay team. There are eight legs to this relay with varying distances from 3.6 miles to 9.7 miles.
I did legs 3 and 5 and as it totalled the half marathon distance while running on canal paths, crossing muddy fields, crossing stiles and using at least 30 gates I was delighted with my time of 2 hours 20 minutes. Michael McKean enjoyed taking part in this event for the first time doing the first and last legs. Sandy Shankland who has done the full thing once but probably has done the relay more than ten times did the short leg as he was carrying an injury but still did well with his contribution. Paul Hart - who has done the full distance quite a few times and finished 2nd in 2008 when he, myself and the late Peter Hill won the team prize - did more than his fair share of this year's relay doing three legs and about 18 miles in total.
As most teams had a full squad of eight runners we did well to finish 9th out of the 25 relay teams.
But more importantly we had a great time being away for a running related weekend and were well supported by our travelling mascot, Marian McPhail. We were very lucky to get warm dry weather while family and friends back in Scotland were getting washed away in floods.
We also got great support from many local runners and the host club Rotherham Harriers & A.C.
I hope to get back many more times as either an individual runner or as part of a relay.

From Stephen Rowbotham, son of Ralph

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Yesterday marked an incredible milestone for me, as I completed the 1st Round Rotherham 50 Mile Trail Run at the age of 55. But this event holds a special place in my heart, not only because of the achievement but also because of its unique history. Allow me to take you on a journey back in time and pay tribute to those who made it all possible.

This amazing trail run had its roots in the early 80s during the British Steel Strike, an era marked by change and challenges, largely influenced by the formidable Maggie Thatcher. My father, Ralph Rowbotham, was the secretary of Rotherham Harriers and found himself with extra time on his hands during the strike. Armed with nothing but an Ordnance Survey Map (no GPS or mobile phones back then), he set out to plot what would become the Round Rotherham run.
Day after day, mile by mile, Dad meticulously crafted the course. As a 15-year-old at the time, I often found myself playing a rather adventurous game of "Find Dad" around Rotherham. The clue was always the same - he'd be in a telephone box, a little lost, a little hungry, and a lot tired. Oh, the memories!
Fast forward 40 years, and this event runs like a well-oiled machine. But this success story didn't happen overnight; it was built upon the dedication and hard work of a fantastic team. My father may have passed away 13 years ago, but his legacy lives on through the incredible individuals who carried on his vision.
I wish I could name every single person who has contributed to this event, but there's a risk of missing someone. However, there are a few individuals who deserve a special mention. Brian Harney, Sharon Burton, and Henry Marston have been there since day one, devoting countless hours as volunteers. The wonderful ladies who have taken care of the food at various start/finish points, including my mom, Pat Rowbotham, June Harney, Jenny Gent, Marilyn Carratt, Cynthia, Jackie, and Elaine Lowry, deserve our heartfelt gratitude.
Let's not forget the amazing feed station crews who provide the much-needed energy and encouragement for runners to keep going. Without their unwavering support, this event simply wouldn't be possible.
We've also bid farewell to some incredible souls who contributed tirelessly over the years - Dave Carrot, Peter Harper, Roy Varo, to name a few. Their spirit lives on in the heart of this event.
Looking ahead, we are fortunate to have Mark Benton and his team at Manvers, who provide a superb facility for starting and finishing this race. They are taking the reins to guide us into the next 40 years of this incredible journey.
I hope you all had an amazing day yesterday, celebrating this remarkable milestone. If you have the means and the desire to assist in any way going forward, know that you'll be welcomed with open arms. Here's to seeing you all in 2024 for the 41st Round Rotherham 50 Mile Trail Run. #RotherhamTrailRun #40YearsStrong


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Last Updated on 12 October, 2023 15:24:43
By Henry Marston
Email: Henry Marston

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