Husband and wife Ben and Sarah complete gruelling Chester Ultra 50-mile challenge

Ben and Sarah Ferguson Hudson

Report by Don Hale

Husband and wife athletes Ben and Sarah Ferguson Hudson completed the gruelling Chester Ultra 50-mile challenge last weekend.

Hosted by GB Ultras, this major endurance event completed its sixth edition this year and allowed supporters to track individual runners online with a live GB race tracker via six key checkpoints and along some of the very best and most beautiful natural trails in the region, including 849m of ascent.

The route was said to involve well-marked ultra-marathon linked trails along the North Cheshire Way, and the Sandstone Trail, taking in Helsby Hill, Delamere Forest and Frodsham.

The experienced and intrepid endurance team-duo, who are both members of North Wales Road Runners, were among nearly 300 hardy athletes who tackled this incredible race, which tested physical and mental abilities to the limit.

Ben and Sarah both ran and finished together in an official time of 12 hours 40 minutes and 39 seconds, with Ben shown as the 152nd male athlete, and Sarah the 42nd female finisher.

These were incredible results, especially as the pair ran an extra mile or two due to an unfortunate navigational error, yet they still celebrated the fact that they just dipped under their 12-hour target for the 50-miles, as confirmed by their satellite watches!

After the event, Sarah Ferguson Hudson explained: “Chester 50 (or after a small navigational error Chester 52.5 as we now call it) done and dusted. Totally brutal but great fun. And more importantly having run the whole thing together, me and Ben are still married! I wanted to run 50 miles in under 12 hours and we did it!”

She later added: “It was such a brutal race… got a bit carried away at the start and suffered a bit…so much mud, but it was an amazing experience… missed a turn at the canal at the end of the race (our fault for not paying attention) and did 52.5 miles in total.

Well-deserved medals for Ben and Sarah Ferguson Hudson

“We managed 50 miles in 11 hrs 56, so I was super happy with that. The route was a little long anyway… 51 miles I think, so our detour added another mile and half… oops! All part of the experience though!

“We have done a little walk today the legs still work at least! Think that was harder than the 100km I did last year for sure!”

*The 50-mile event was eventually won by Michael Young (West Cheshire) in 7.04.2, with 2nd Andrew Dewey in 7.10.09 and 3rd Steven Fernyhough (West Cheshire) in 7.15.51. The female event was won by Melinda Marchal (Ealing Eagles) in 8.39.31.

Martin Green won age cat and shared finish time at Trimpell 20-mile race

Martin Green shows sheer determination

Report by Don Hale

Martin Green put in a tremendous performance at the Trimpell 20-mile race on Sunday and shared second place out of more than 300 quality athletes, recording the exact same time as rival Mark Emmerson from Border Harriers.

The event was billed as ‘The Pre-London Road Race,’ and included a traffic-free course though the historic City of Lancaster and the stunning Lancashire Lune Valley countryside.

It was claimed to be a friendly race organised by runners who are dedicated to delivering a superb event for every type of runner and was promoted as the ideal race before any chosen marathon.

Top North Wales Road Runner Martin fought an epic battle throughout the race with his challenger Mark, and both shared the same excellent finishing time of just 1 hour 54 minutes, with the pair just over a minute adrift of final race winner Chris Pownall from Knowsley Harriers AC.

After the race, Martin confirmed: “We were joint second. We ran the whole race step by step so finished uncontested. Just a training day for us both.”

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