19 Nov

10 mucky years of Dirt Half Challenge

Dirt Half Challenge 2019

Runners have been getting mucky and loving it in the Dirt Half Challenge by trail specialists Dirt Running. The latest edition on Saturday 16 November was another 1,000 sell out event with 809 finishing within three and a half hours and there was a men's course record – just.

The route is mainly off-road on country trails and towpaths from Leighton Buzzard with a significant hill at halfway. Competitors pass through Tiddenfoot Waterside Park and head north to Stoke Hammond before the 200 foot climb to Great Brickhill Woods, returning via scenic Rushmere Country Park, along Greensand Ridge and the canal towpath. 
The course record fell to Matt Sims (1:16:49) – by two seconds! Precision pacing took the former Oxford University student 69 seconds clear of Harry Smith (Amthill & Flitwick Flyers, 1:17:58) with Jed Noblett (Luton, 1:18:34) third in his longest race to date. 
Paul Williamson (M50 Leighton Buzzard Tri Club, 1:23:47) impressed as the leading master and 28 runners beat 90 minutes, including women's winner Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (W35 Luton, 1:25:53) in an excellent 10th overall.
The women's rostrum was completed by W45 masters Dawn Godwin (Windle Valley Runners, 1:33:04) and Jennifer Sangster (1:1:34:35) who was part of the winning combined team with Redway Runners.
Ironically for a race that revels in muddy conditions it was a lovely fresh, dry day with a gentle breeze and ideal running conditions. There was still plenty of muck to be found between miles seven and 10 due to the amount of rain that had fallen over the last few weeks.
There is a superb YouTube aerial film of a previous event which captures the atmosphere and shows off the brilliant course.
Many positive comments were received and this from Anna Mead (W45 Leighton Fun Runners, 2:36:02) represents the majority view: “An amazing course with a variety of beautiful scenery. Fantastic marshals, loads of encouragement and plenty of water. And a great medal and Coke at the end! Brilliant race.” 
Final word from Race director Andy Hully: “Feedback from the runners regarding the course, support from the marshals and the organisation of the event was once again outstanding with many runners vowing they would be back next year. A word of advice: enter early!”
Link to full results via runABC South comprehensive race listing here
Images courtesy Dirt Running
Dirt Half Challenge awards


  1. Alex said...


    Thank you for your Excellency so very much to your consideration to my requests to identify on your lovely and best of running races of all races that organized earlier than before, I would like to congratulate all the organizers for their carry out to enlarge to be one of the best organized events in your beautiful Country and City, we are really very well-being to enjoy this enormous flowing running events and races with full confidence to win with best minima that recorded before. My elite athletes are genuinely they are very interested to participate according to your rules and Regulations, I think all my elite athletes will be success with strong concurrence. Thanks also for you paying attention to hearing and consider to my requests to seized about my elite athletes for their participation on the course that you plan for your championships and race, on the other hand we are agree that all you regulate for your running course for this year. Because it is very attractive championship as we observe on your website announced. For the 1st time I need your official invitation letters to each of my elite athletes to participate on your all running events and 10km road race and track running events of 2020 championship in your country. So I am attached all participant athletes passport ID scan copy and results for your official invitation letters and other details.
    Please when you send us your official invitation letters please send all letters to each elite athlete for their other activities to rearrange personal preparations.
    For your information and attention when you send us your official invitation letters to my elite athletes engrave the letters to make known your official invitation letters copy to your Embassy or Agent office or Consular Section here in Addis Ababa Ethiopia to provide them visa to come up to participate on your famous running tournaments’ in your beautiful Country.
    1/Athlete Genet Alemu current personal best of half marathon is 1:14:06 &
    2/ Athlete Gemechu Amanuel current personal best half marathon is 1:03:18 so for two elite athletes I need your official invitation for their participations on your famous half marathon in your beautiful country.
    Addis Ababa City Athletics Sports Management Group

    Chief Coach Alemu Akuz Adikas

    +251 91 116 0064, +251 92 623 1131

    p.o box 35 code 1034 kotebe
    Addis Ababa