Tom Payn (pictured) took time out from his everyday duties as manager of the RunFast team of elite runners to claim first place at the 2015 Race to the Stones (Saturday 11 July). The 2:17 marathoner and one-time Olympic hopeful was in impressive form setting a new course record of 8:20:30 and lowering the previous mark by over 30 minutes.
Tom was one of 1800 runners and walkers who completed the 100K (60 plus miles) through the beautiful Chiltern Hills, along the Ridgeway from Lewksmore to the Avebury Stone Circle. Some finished the race non-stop; others took it at their own pace in two days staying overnight at base camp, while some just completed 50km either on the Saturday or the Sunday.
Sorrell Walsh, the winner of last year’s women’s race, improved her 2014 time by 17 minutes to finish on 10:20:35. However Sarah Morwood's 9:14:17 meant she was comfortably the fastest 2015 woman and fifth overall. Sorrell led 50 women in the collective that she co-founded and trained, WMNRUN100 as part of the Race to the Stones Ultra50:50 campaign to encourage more women to take part in the ultra to even the numbers of men and women. This year 40% of the field of Race to the Stones was female; the average for ultra marathons is 20%.
BBC Radio sports presenter Vassos Alexander completed the race in 11: 49:41 seconds before going on to take part in Jenson Button’s triathlon in Derby the following afternoon while blogger Sophie Radcliffe completed the race in 13:00:18.
Nick Tuppen of Threshold Sports who founded Race to the Stones, said: “This was the best Race to the Stones yet. We had a record turn-out from all walks of life. Determined fundraisers lined up with some of the top runners in the country and all took on the breath-taking challenge of the Ridgeway. It’s a long way, but their sense of achievement and memories will last a lifetime.”
Entry for the 2016 Race to the Stones will open in October 2015 at the event website.