The North Downs (pictured) are in the South and mainly seem to go up, not down. That at least was the view of the majority of the exhausted 539 endurance athletes who completed the 33rd North Downs Run 30K on Sunday (26 June) in warm and humid conditions from Cascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend.
This year the race included the British Masters Trail Running Championships for the first time and the winner of this title was the experienced M35 Julian Rendall (Tonbridge) in 2hr 1min 37sec.
Four-time previous champion Rendall was not the overall winner, though, as that honour fell to under-20 junior Alex Money (Orpington Road Runners, 1:59:40), with the sole effort below two hours on this challenging route, thus leaving Huw Lobb’s 2011 course record of 1:52:43 intact for another year.
British Masters gold medals were claimed by M40 Phil Sanders (Kent AC, 2:10:25); M45 Allen Jones (M&M, 2:19:31); M50 Martin Cunningham (Petts Wood, 2:29:14); M55 Peter Thompson (Walden Tri, 2:32:11); M60 Dave Cox (Woodford Green, 2:20:41); M65 Trevor Edgely (Istead & Ifield, 2:48:49) and M70 John Turner (Ely Runners, 3:42:02).
Amy Clements (Kent AC, 2.18.33) retained her women’s trophy from club-mate Kate Williams (W50, 2:28:00). The British Masters title went to W50 Williams and age-group gold was also claimed by W40 Cath Stibbs (Kent AC, 2:41:39); W45 Fiona Russell (Mornington Chasers, 2:38:12); W55 Janice Moorekite (Larkfield, 3:18:34); W60 Cath Wright (Corby, 3:10:38) and W65 Sarah Marzaioli (Hastings, 3:53:21).
The BARR (British Association of Road Races) Committee awarded The Bill Reynolds Memorial Trophy for 2016 to The North Downs Run 30K. This is a national award that recognises the best race throughout the UK from nine English regions plus Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Race organisers, Istead and Ifield Harriers, received the award in London on the eve of London Marathon.
Full results are at the race website