This was the 27th year of the Ashby 20, an event that continues to grow in stature and reputation. Organised by Ivanhoe Runners, the race attracted a record number 1,239 participants who were full of praise for a well-organised and supported event. Not to mention the highly prized hoodie and goody bag!
The Aldi Ashby 20 is a firm favourite with runners training for a spring marathon and this year was no exception with entries closing after only 6 days.
Two runners set the pace from the onset, battling it out for the top spot until near the end. The winner was Gareth Lowe from Clowne RRC in 1:53:45 with George Birt of Hermitage Harriers in second place in 1:55:19. Karl Welborn from Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon club (BRAT) was third in 1:56:41.
Katie Lomas from Charnwood AC won the women’s race in 2:17:17 narrowly beating Julie Warner into second in 2:17:26. Deborah Gilman from Hatton Darts was third in 2:19:51. Hermitage Harriers won the men’s team prize with the ladies team prize going to Charnwood AC.
The race would not be complete without an appearance by the Ivanhoe gorilla. This annual tradition involves a member of the host club running in a gorilla costume that runners try to beat. Ian Kirk maintained the tradition, crossing the finish line in 3:21:12.
The longevity of this event is a testament to the hard work and enthusiasm of Ivanhoe Runners with further assistance from various organisations including Ashby Town Council, Community First Responders, Ashby Endurance Explorer Scouts Unit, the Rotary Club of Ashby Castle, Leicestershire Search and Rescue, the Midland School of Massage, United Biscuits and Conkers Runners.