The Eastern Counties Finance Monster Racing Run Fest sponsored by PWR+ took place on Sunday, 28th September. As Monster’s Ultra event was so popular in 2013, the Run Fest was created for this year. For the crazy Ultra runners, that 68km race returned. And those not quite so keen had the choice of a Marathon or Half Marathon.
A total of 209 athletes started the races outside Ely Cathedral. All athletes followed the same route on cyclepath 11 along the river bank of the River Great Ouse. Where the runners turned around and headed back depended on the race. The Half Marathon athletes turned just before the village of Wicken. The Marathon and Ultra athletes continued along the path through Wicken Fen, the first ever National Trust site, and onto White Fen. They continued through desolate Fens. The Marathon athletes turned around at the village of Lode. The Ultra athletes carried on to take up the path along the River Cam, following the river to the outskirts of Cambridge. Here they turned around and started the long journey back!
First across the line in the men’s Ultra race was Craig Holgate (Centurion Runners / Ely Runners) in a time of 4h and 45mins Second male was Russell Pixton, 5:39, and third male was Benjamin Letzer (Coltish all Jaguars),5:59. The women’s Ultra race was won by Susie Chesher in a time of 6h and 11mins. Second female was Jennifer Sangster (David Lloyd Redway Runners), 6:25, and third female was Johanna Marsian, 7:07.
First across the line in the men’s Marathon was Alan Darby (Ely Runners) in a time of 2h and 50mins. Second male was Martyn Taylor (Newmarket joggers), 3:07, and third male was Ed Fuller, 3:23. The women’s Marathon race was won by Clare Fleming (Newmarket Triathlon) in a time of 3h and 39mins. Second female was Paola Perono (Tri-Spoke), 4:17, and third female was Janet Cobby (100 Marathon Club), 4:21.
The women’s Half Marathon race was won by Claire Hallissey (Bristol & West) in a time of 1h and 22mins. Second female was Melanie Allen 1:33, and third female was Maxine Lane (Newmarket Cycle and Triathlon Club),1:38. First across the line in the men’s Half Marathon was Ian Hall in a time of 1h and 23mins. Second male was Daniel Pluck (KLTC), 1:36, and third male was Aurelien Bancel, 1:38.
First and second placed athletes won cash prizes donated by Eastern Counties Finance and PWR+, third place athletes won vouchers donated by Ultra Runner. Other partners ensured all athletes were fuelled. Tasty race nutrition was provided by Hammer Nutrition and 9Bar. The athletes were kept well hydrated by local Iceni Water. Race day logistics were assisted thanks to Practical Van Hire Ely.
Ian-Green Photography was out on the course capturing the action as well as capturing the finish to the spectacular back drop of Ely Cathedral. All pictures are available from www.ian-greenphotography.co.uk.
A Monster Racing spokesman said: “The first Monster Run Fest was a great day! The aim of the Run Fest is to provide a low key friendly event and we have succeeded. The Ultra event sold out for the second year running and the Marathon and Half Marathon were close to capacity. Next year we will increase the capacity of all three distances to meet demand for these cracking events. We would like to thank everyone who helped marshal, all competitors, all safety and ‘behind the scenes’ crew as well all our sponsors. Thank you also to Ely Cathedral, Kings School, East Cambs Council, The National Trust and Practical Van Hire Ely for their support and access to facilities.”
Monster Racing are already busy planning the 2015 events and hope to make that their biggest and best season yet! Check out their events at www.monsterracing.net.
Images courtesy of Ian-Green Photography.