On Sunday 16th July 700 runners bravely endeavoured out onto the picturesque, winding and undulating trails of Tittesworth for the RunThrough Trails Tittesworth Water 10k, Half Marathon and 50k Ultra Marathon. All races started at Tittesworth Reservoir before ascending Hen Cloud which gave runners incredible views of the reservoir and the surrounding countryside. Following the incredibly blustery, overcast and rainy conditions that came on Saturday thankfully the day was beautifully calm with perfect running conditions!
Those calm conditions were not something that the team setting up the course the day before were blessed with however. On Saturday, the team battled with incredibly strong winds and torrential downpours to ensure that every twist and turn of the course was set up perfectly to make sure that all runners could easily navigate the 10k, Half Marathon and 50km trail routes.
At the peak of Hen Cloud 10k runners continued their loop to descend and traverse back to the reservoir whereas the Half Marathon and 50k runners continued out to the Forest Wood section of the course and completed the loop that passed Danebridge. Near the end of the Forest Wood loop, 50k runners split off to pass near the Riverside Cafe, a popular stop for walkers, however, there would be no such stops for the runners who would sustain themselves with their gels, energy drinks and plentiful water and nutrition available at the aid stations on course.
The 50k runners then continued on to a further loop while the Half Marathon runners completed the original loop and returned back to Tittesworth Reservoir. The final 50k loop took runners past the famous ‘Three Shires Point’, where the counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire meet at a waterfall and collection of pools on the River Dane. This is well known as a fantastic spot for wild swimming and a cooling dip and while we did not hear of any runners taking to the waters mid route, we wouldn’t blame them as when you’ve got 50k to complete you do what you have to to reach that finish line! The 50k runners then returned to the point on the course where the Half Marathon and 50k route split to follow their Half Marathon counterparts back down to Tittesworth Reservoir and the finish line.
All runners did incredibly well tackling and completing their races, across all distances, especially considering the challenge of significant elevation changes that featured in all routes. The 10k route had a total of 352m elevation, 815 for the Half Marathon and a whopping 1,502m total elevation for the 50k Ultra. And once runners had crossed the finish line they were able to deserve a well deserved rest as well as a massage after collecting their medals and post race goodies.
In the 50k race the first man across the line was Carl Everall in an impressive 4 hours 29 minutes and 31 seconds with the first lady Pollyanne Veazey French crossing the line in a fantastic time of 5 hours 23 minutes and 43 seconds. In the Half Marathon, the first lady across the line was Deborah Thomas in 2 hours 11 minutes and 46 seconds and the first man was Joel Stevens in 1 hour 53 minutes and 14 seconds (the only runner completing the half marathon in under 2 hours). And in the 10k, Marcus Hulme crossed the finish line first in a time of 50 minutes flat with first placed lady Caitlin Peers (also finishing as second athlete overall) in a fantastic 51 minutes and 33 seconds.
Georgina Powell, who completed the 50k Tittesworth Water race, said “Thank you to everyone involved in the Tittesworth 50k today, all the marshals and checkpoint volunteers were amazing (hope you are all having a good rest and a glass of something). It was a really well organised event and well marked course. My first RunThrough event and will hopefully not be my last. Great route, although whoever planned the climb from Gradbach to the top of the Roaches at the end has a sadistic streak! Thank you to everyone I chatted to along the way and the young man who helped us cross the river after checkpoint 3.”
Rob Sullivan, RunThrough Head of Operations and Tittesworth Event Lead, commented: “the scenery for the runners was spectacular, particularly up on the Roaches and around Three Shires Head and thankfully the pretty intense storms all passed through on Saturday. How clearly the team marked the course was a real highlight for me as for safety all runners have to have the GPS map downloaded to their phone to navigate if in doubt but the course was set out so well that the vast majority of runners never had to revert to the map for navigation. Huge congratulations to all runners and my never ending thanks to our amazing RunThrough team for pulling together and putting on such a fantastic event.”
The Tittesworth Water 50k carried UTMB points, as all qualifying RunThrough trail events do, listed in the UTMB Index. So for any runner who is looking to build their qualification points for other trail races or get in practice out on the trails in a race scenario RunThrough Trails events are a great option to explore. Equally for any runners who are less experienced on trails, there are events of varying difficulty and length to cater for every level of trail runner.