The Pilgrim Challenge 2013 | 66 Mile Multi-Stage Ultra

The event took place on the 2nd and 3rd February 2013, starting in The Sands near Farnham and finishing Day 1 at St Nickolas School in Merstham near Redhill. Day 2 ran the same course back to Farnham.

Whereas last year’s event was noted for 4 inches of snow, this year’s run was noted for MUD.  The weather was kind to us, as although it was cold, it stayed fair but dull over the weekend. 250 runners/walkers registered for the event with entrants coming from as far afield as India, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Dublin

Many runners were there just for the Pilgrim, but some, were using it as a training run for bigger events. There were quite a few preparing for April’s Marathon des Sables in Morocco.

On Saturday evening after being fed and watered by Anita and the “Hungers End” team we settled down to watch “The Rugby” and listen to an inspirational talk by Andy Mouncey.

During Andy’s talk, the last of the walkers arrived to a tremendous applause (the last ones always get the best).

Sunday started with a bit of light rain which soon past and the weather settled down to a dry, dull and windy day.  The walkers were off at 7 o’clock, the main group at 8, followed by the elite at 9.

There were some epic performances over the weekend. The leaders this year were very fast in some very poor conditions. Danny Kendall broke the previous course record of 9 hours 17minutes by posting an unbelievable time of 8 hours 49 mins.

The ladies record also went – Annabelle Stearns clocked up a great time of 10 hours 23 mins breaking the previous ladies course record by nearly 10 minutes. Congratulations.

Throughout the field there were inspiring performances from people pushing themselves to their limits, breaking through and keeping going. The walkers trekked from early morning to late evening, caring not for the glory of a fast time but the achievement of just doing it!

The last walkers struggled in at 21:42, tired but happy at completing, what is a very tough event.

By 23:00 the last of the crew were in their vehicles and on their way home, very tired but satisfied with another great event. It’s our competitors, their friendliness and camaraderie, which make the event special.

One of our competitor’s feedback:

“As ever you put on a fantastic event for us, the organisation impeccable as always, and as always you manage to create a fun atmosphere that is supportive and relaxed that is much appreciated. It is a brave organisation and a special one that can support and embrace all runners/walkers at every level so the elite runners rub up against the lesser mortals among us.  For many of us it’s about our own personal challenges and learning, winning our own races is what we do.
Keep up the good work and see you later in the year.”

Our next event is in April 6th & 7th at Chipping Campden for a 2 day ultra along the spectacular Cotswold Way.
Neil Thubron
Race Director

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