The first running of the Foxton Hound Ultra took place on the 19th August, and what an amazing turn out it was for our inaugural event!
A challenging course, with varied terrain and runners being kept on their toes with navigation.
With such a wet Summer the overgrowth had gone wild in a number of places in the weeks leading up to race day, with some paths not even recognisable as paths! Many hours of lopping and strimming occurred in the weeks leading up to the race had ensued!
137 runners set off slightly after 8am, with a split of 100 runners taking on the 50k and 37 starting off in the 100k.
In the 50k, a group of four shot off from the rest of the pack fairly early on, with Keith Beasley first to reach checkpoint 1 just after 8 miles, quickly followed by Mathew Horrocks, Ryan Brown and Jonathan Taylor. Eventual winner Ryan had gained the lead by the time the runners reached the second checkpoint, and in the lead he remained – pushing away from the rest of the pack after the third and final checkpoint on the 50k course, finishing in a very impressive 4:16:38. Made more impressive in that Ryan was a tourist to the area who had signed up for the race that morning and therefore wasn’t familiar with the route or area.
As much as Ryan had been able to push on over the final 10k, original leader Keith unfortunately struggled, losing out on a podium finish by less than three minutes, with Mathew taking second place in 4:25:38 and Jonathan crossing the line shortly after to finish third with a time of 4:26:21.
For the ladies, Lynne Nicholls from Northampton Road Runners had a strong run, leading from the beginning of the race and going on to finish as first lady and in 7th position overall with a fantastic time of 4:48:43. Second and third ladies also retained second and third position throughout, with Olivia Sawford going on to finish in 5:10:42 and Emily Hall in 5:19:02 in eleventh and twelfth positions respectively overall.
In the 100k event, Daniel Hendriksen took a strong lead from the beginning, reaching the first two checkpoints in similar times to that of the leading pack from the 50k. Ben Shirley from Wellingborough & District AC sat slightly behind in second place, with Daniel taking a five minute lead at the first checkpoint. Third through was Alex Ventisei.
Daniel kept his lead throughout the entireity of the 100k, although this narrowed from more than 15 minutes at checkpoint 6, to just two minutes at the finish, with Daniel having caught sight of Ben as he was heading across the final fields. Daniel going on to finish in 11:03:59, and Ben in 11:05:59, the only two 100k runners to finish during daylight hours. They had quite a lead on third place runner Alex, who went on to cross the line in 12:42:59, more than an hour and a half ahead of the fourth male competitor.
Leading lady throughout and eventual winner of the 100k was Kathryn Hutchinson. Kat had been spotted out recceing the course multiple times over recent weeks and it was lovely to see her go on to take the win in 13:31:36, finishing 4th overall, and more than three hours ahead of any other female runners out on the course.
Jayne Rudolph from LDWA crossed the finish as second female, with a 16:34:18 finishing time, and Marie Fall from Lordshill Road Runners finished as third lady, with a time of 16:56:44, coming across the line as 18th and 19th overall finishers for the 100k respectively.
Maryann Devally from Serpentine RC was another contender for a podium finish and had crept up to third place by the third checkpoint, but unfortunately went on to withdraw upon reaching checkpoint four at Stoke Albany at mile 33.
Other notable mentions include Charlotte Yarker, who was completing the 50k as her first ultra on her birthday, and Michael Quinn, completing the 100k event in the early hours of his birthday!
Tim Butler is currently on a mission to run 100 marathons and ultramarathons all whilst juggling. The Foxton Hound 50k Ultra was Tim’s 86th event on that mission! As part of this mission, Tim is supporting the charity Wildcats Conservation Alliance who are involved in tiger conservation projects around the world.
It was the first running of the event, and as such, there are a number of changes that will be implemented for next year. Including, but not limited to the following:
– More toilets at the start
– A greater selection of food at aid stations (including coke!)
– Checkpoint two will move back along the route to a village hall, meaning checkpoints will be more evenly spaced out and giving kitchen access for food prep
– An earlier start time for both races, allowing more 100k runners to finish during daylight hours
– Written directions will be provided alongside map and gpx routes
– Recce groups available in the build up to the event to help give navigation confidence to those attempting their first ultra
The provisional date for next year’s event is the 17th August. Keep your diaries free!