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Dartmoor Discovery Ultra Marathon 2019

Posted by Mike Coombes Dartmoor Brewery in Jun 2019

It was our pleasure and privilege to once again sponsor the Dartmoor Discovery Ultra Marathon - a notoriously tough 32-mile run taking in some of the most challenging hills in any UK road race.

Competitors were provided with well-received refreshment after the race with a bottle of our Dartmoor IPA - and they certainly deserved it!

Race Director Roger Hayes gives us a run-down of this year's event, with his Race Report below:

Race Report

Weston Athletic Club runner Kieron Summers battled scorching temperatures to win the 2019 Dartmoor Discovery (DD) on Saturday 1st June, completing the notoriously tough 32-mile course in 3:57:02. Running her first ultramarathon, Joanne Page of Okehampton Running Club, won the ladies’ race, in 4:50:40.

Teignbridge Trotter Chairman Roger Hayes, who is also the DD’s Race Director, said: ‘This year’s DD was one of hottest we’ve ever experienced. You always have to dig deep within yourself to reach the finish line and this year’s DD proved that Dartmoor can be brutal as well as beautiful.’

As the runners cooled down after the demanding race, Roger was joined by Sibelco Operations Manager Ben Uphill, who presented the prizes. This year, Sibelco and the Teignbridge Trotters agreed a major sponsorship deal to support all five of the club’s races.

Ben Uphill said: ‘Sibelco is delighted to be associated with the Teignbridge Trotters and its race calendar. The club pulls in people from across the UK to take part in some great events and Sibelco is very happy to be supporting this kind of grassroots sporting activity. Today’s race shows just how challenging conditions can be and we take our hats off to all the participants and applaud the hard work of the organisers. It’s just amazing! Here’s to a long and fruitful relationship between Sibelco and Teignbridge Trotters.’

DD newbie Jamie Stephenson, of the Mile High Running Club, was second, finishing in 3:57:30. Shropshire Shuffler Tim Devanney came third, in a time of 4:07:25. Another DD first-timer, Teignbridge Trotter Mandy Wheeler, was second lady, finishing in 4:55:40, which also earned her the FV45 trophy. East Cornwall Harrier and 2011 winner Diane Roy came third, in 4:57:19, also bagging the FV55 crown.

Roger Hayes said: ‘More and more runners are taking on the challenges of an ultramarathon and it’s great to see so many newbies tackling the DD. It’s particularly exciting to see first-timers right up there among the podium finishers. It just shows what can be done with proper training and a healthy dose of grit!’

The DD, which starts and finishes in Princetown, is organised by leading South West running club the Teignbridge Trotters. Renowned for breathtaking views, equally breathtaking hills and weather that always surprises, the DD is the UK’s longest single-lap road race. The event has been steadily growing in popularity since 2010, when the Trotters took over its organisation. This year, 180 finishers crossed the line, out of a starting line-up of 213 runners.

Every year, the DD’s team trophies generate keen competition between rival clubs. The Teignbridge Trotters fought off a stiff challenge from Okehampton Running Club to lift the men’s cup for the ninth time in 11 years. Adam Johnstone (4:26:10), Garry Smart (4:29:24) and Allen Taylor (4:35:12) flew the flag for the Trotters. In the Ladies’ competition, third lady Diane Roy led the charge for the East Cornwall Harriers, supported by Kaye Patterson (5:17:40) and Sharon Daw, whose 5:39:24 also earned her the FV50 prize. Teignbridge Trotter ladies were second.

The 2019 DD was an extra special event for Sharon Daw, who completed her 300th marathon on the way to the finish line. In addition, three Teignbridge Trotters passed the coveted 100-marathon milepost on Saturday: Allen Taylor, Kurt Read (5:16:07) and Christopher McIntosh (6:03:01).

Also running for the Teignbridge Trotters were: Mikey Johnson (4:47:33), Kris Ward (4:56:39), Alan Boone (5:09:19), Lance Mason (5:16:52), Julian Scanes (5:16:53), Joseph Hornsby (5:23:28), Susanna Goffe (5:30:52), Roger Hales (5:48:10), Natalie Cusack (5:51:27), Steve Barker (5:51:58), Paul Sharples Senior (6:02:13), Rachel Steele (6:04:06), Derek Skinner (6:10:57), Peter Kirby (6:13:35), John Tweedie (6:25:12), Lucy Evans (6:28:23), Nigel Barnett (6:30:00),   Max Conroy (6:30:00) and Christian Robinson (6:30:00).

Every year, the race organisers assemble a huge team to ensure that the event passes off smoothly and safely. An estimated 150 people came together on Saturday, contributing a wide variety of skills. The Dartmoor Radio Club, Osprey Support Group medics and a team of sports therapists worked alongside scores of volunteer marshals, timekeepers and caterers.

In addition to Sibelco, this year’s race was also sponsored by Dartmoor Brewery, the Road Runners Club and the Ilsington Country House Hotel.

Bottles of Dartmoor IPA for runners

ABOUT THE DARTMOOR DISCOVERY

The Dartmoor Discovery takes in some of the most challenging hills in any UK road race. First run in 1998, the race was conceived by Phil Hampton, who continued to organise it until his retirement in 2010. Originally, the course was 34 miles. It was shortened to 32 miles in 2002, to avoid runners having to cross a busy road in Princetown. In 2018, the original 34-mile route was restored for a special one-off occasion to mark the event’s 20th anniversary. In 2001, the event was cancelled in response to a severe outbreak of foot and mouth disease across the UK. Anyone wishing to enter the Dartmoor Discovery should be aware that it is a genuinely tough event aimed at experienced runners who have already completed a marathon. A strict, six-and-a-half-hour cut-off policy is in place. 


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