Charlie Rendle (267), Lewis Weaver (281) and Dave Lewis (258) look pretty pleased with their outfits and the conditions at the 16th Box Hill Trionium Knacker Cracker 10K on New Year's Day! The three mates from 'Hawaii' had good reason as the mild weather and firm ground yielded two new course records.
With 500m of ascent/descent and grade 'A' fell race status, the Surrey classic on National Trust North Downs land is no ordinary 10K. No wonder this race is billed on the official race website as: “Britain's toughest 10K”. Typically, race times are 15 minutes slower than usual.
So who were the mountain goats who cracked the records? The course has changed over the years and it was the latest and toughest route times that were beaten by Knacker Cracker champion Rhys Gillard, from that well known mountainous region of Essex (Southend, 50:15) and Knicker Knacker ladies winner Carla Molinaro (Clapham Chasers, 55:50), who has previous for this sort of thing. Carla also set the easier course record (52:44) in 2011. Both winners gained automatic entry into the UK Wife Carrying Championships race on 3 March at Dorking as part of their prize package.
The current course includes, allegedly by popular demand from previous entrants, the 'Eiger Steps' bonus hill, which adds extra time and helps to justify the colourful race title!
As for our picture stars, we understand they were still smiling at the finish. Youth prevailed as Charlie Rendle (27) was first of the trio (19th, 1:01:33) followed by 27-year-old Lewis Weaver (34th, 1:05:53) and 61-year-old Dave Lewis (186th, 1:34:41).
There were 253 knackered finishers in 2:14:58 and midpoint runner, Miss Poppy Disley-May, recorded 1:24:13. Many ran in impressive fancy dress and there are some excellent photos on Flickr.
The race programme included a Nipper Knacker race for young trail runners with healthy and refreshing carrots as prizes!
This race always gets rave reviews and here is just one example from competitor Nickie that encapsulates exactly how many runners feel about this traditional pipe opener: "I just had to email again to say a HUGE thank you! It was bloody marvellous! So much FUN! Amazing atmosphere, everyone chatting, encouraging each other along, helping. ...Brilliantly organised. We will definitely be back! Have a fabulous 2019, start as you mean to go on!"