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Round Rotherham

19/10/2013

Last Saturday saw six Dumfries Running Club members travel to Yorkshire to take part in one of the friendliest events on the running calendar, the Round Rotherham relay...

This 50 mile event sees walkers and runners navigate their way along canal banks, through the South Yorkshire forest, across ploughed fields, on trail and road with only a minimal number of checkpoints, an absence of marshals and with only pictorial maps as navigational aids. The event takes place in an evolving landscape of former coal mines and rapid changes which means that it is so easy to go off route, even for those who are familiar with the terrain.

The Dumfries Runners have taken part in this event for over a decade now and are welcomed as old friends and are by far the furthest travelled relay team pitting their wits against the best from South Yorkshire. This year the two individual runners Paul Hart and Jacob Tangey were quietly hopeful that they could put in good performances and the quartet of Sandy Shankland, Stephen Mohan, Les Hill and Richard McDougal were each completing two legs of the 8 stage relay event on familiar terrain.

With over 300 individual entrants Paul and Jacob started carefully at 7am and settled into the demands of such a complex event. Despite his familiarity with this race, Paul followed a local runner off course following a single moment of hesitation on leg 1 and this meant that he lost time and added 2 miles to his race. Paul shrugged this off and continued to focus on producing a high quality run in an event in which he has been second overall twice before. Both Paul and Jacob ran very well in the warm and dry conditions and, despite several sections of slippery mud, were thoroughly delighted to produce outstanding runs with Paul 4th in 7 hours 22 minutes and Jacob 6th in 7 hours 27 minutes.

In the 21 team relay race Sandy started well on leg one in 79 mins in 4th place and handed over to Stephen who overtook two teams but was caught by 4 others. Les on leg three maintained his usual good form before handing over to Richard in 8th place by halfway. Each runner then completed sections five to eight in the same order without losing a place and Richard brought them home on the shortest final leg to cross the line 24 seconds under the 7 hour mark.

Report by Steve Mohan

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