Written by Steve Worrallo – http://www.ultrarunningltd.co.uk
With the Green Man route shrouded in mystical tales of good and bad fortune, it was with great anticipation that 44 brave hearted competitors amassed at the starting point located at Redwood Park Hotel on Saturday 3rd March 2012.
At 8.00am the hooter set the intrepid adventurers – which included a mix of ultra runners from all over the UK and a handful of Canicross enthusiast – on their way; their dogs seeming keener than them to get pushing forward. The weather looked ominously overcast and the drizzle was threatening to make the going tough.
But this, the inaugural Green Man Ultra, was a happy day for the Green Man who delighted us with brightening sky’s and at times untypically warm weather.
The route, which can be demandingly muddy in parts, was holding firm and the two leading runners (Martin Indge & Daryl Carter) zipped through CP1 in an impressive 1hr 21 min. This was record pace.
Martin & Daryl were still tied as they departed CP 2, but even more amazing; “who’s that coming over the hill”? Just seven minutes adrift from first place was Liz Wiggins; it would have done Lewis Hamilton no harm to have witnessed Liz’s pit-stop, she’d gone before she arrived!
But the Green Man Ultra should never be taken lightly and with Martin trying to seize an opportunity and break away from Daryl, he made a costly error, going slightly off track. Even though Martin had great experience with the course, The Green Man had struck a fatal blow, resulting in Daryl securing a 20 min lead by CP3.
The chasing pack was making this into a great race, and any slips upfront could have been costly.
Daryl secured his place as champion with a record time of 7hrs 8 min, Martin Indge came second with 7hrs 34 min, and David Mitchell also dipped under the 8hrs with 7hrs 59 min.
Liz, cruised to the ladies title, arriving fifth overall with a time of 8 hrs 21 min.
Bill Graham, with 8hrs and 1 minute, disappointed that he wasn’t inside 8 hrs, was consoled by winning the Men’s Veterans trophy.
Alex Foster, Bryan Stadden and Diane Roy gained 6th, 7th & 8th places respectfully.
Matthew Gillard came in as first Canicrosser in 9th position with a time of 9hrs 45 min.
Canicross relay team ‘Mixed up Mutts’ – Dawn Crook-Richards, Claire Williams, Margaret Plum, and Carol Aleknavicus – were winners, with a time of 10 hrs 8 min.
Twenty-nine runners achieved a time of under twelve hours, with the last official finisher at 14 hrs 15 min.
With the onset of night, all races become more challenging, and The Green Man is no different.
Canicross relay team ‘Hope’ had troubles from the outset. But credit where credit is due their perseverance was admirable. But in trying to reach CP 3, and at an expended time of 15 hrs 40 min it was concluded that they had “no-hope” and retired from the race.
Finishing in the dark though can have its benefits as in the last couple of miles of The Green Man Ultra the runners have to cross the beautifully lit Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The Romanian Chef serving soup and pasta at the finish had a beaming smile all evening; apparently he had acquired several telephone numbers, of course for outside catering purposes only.
Ultra Running would like to thank Martin at Moti Sports, Giles Heeks at OMM for stepping in at CP1, Clive Marston for helping out at CP3 and The Gaveller for recording and signing in of the new Woodwoses and Woodwights. Also our sponsors 9Bar.
The Green Man Ultra returns next year on March 2nd 2013.