Dereham AC vice chairman Jonathan Burton completes 100 mile challenge

Jonathan Burton of Dereham Runners AC during his epic 100 mile ultra race. Picture: Club

Jonathan Burton of Dereham Runners AC during his epic 100 mile ultra race. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

Dereham Runners AC vice chairman Jonathan Burton rose magnificently to the challenge of the A100 ultra race, covering 100 tough trail miles in just over 27 hours of continuous running.

Held in Berkshire, the first 50 miles of course take runners along the Thames Path from Goring, while the second half follows the historic Ridgeway, said to be Britain's oldest road.

'You only have 28 hours to beat the distance,' said Jonathan, a chartered surveyor. 'So I was pleased to get home in 27.19.29.

'The first half was by far the more enjoyable. The Ridgeway is quite hilly and the anticipated high winds certainly came into play. Battling against a 40/50mph headwind, in the dark, at 2am made me doubt whether I'd even finish, but fortunately I made the turn at the 75 mile point. After all that the finish was somewhat emotional.'

Jonathan's epic achievement is all the more remarkable given that he completed the Reims marathon in four hours 27 minutes just six days earlier.

Another intrepid Reims veteran, Philip Websdale, took on a 30 mile ultra run along the River Stort Navigation Channel in Hertfordshire.

'I won't lie,' he admitted. 'I found the going very hard between miles 18 and 28 but I managed to hold it together to finish in 5.59.32.'

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Further afield, Tomas Boza ran the punishing Snowdonia Eryri marathon in 3.47.06, despite cramping up.

Closer to home, just one DRAC runner took part in a hard fought Trowse 10k race, with Andy Rowles negotiating the sometimes crowded course in 46.07.

Rather more Dereham Runners turned out for the Holt 10k on Sunday, hosted by North Norfolk Beach Runners. Always a popular end of season race, and again very well organised, the course begins and ends at Gresham's School and follows an extended single loop around Kelling Heath.

As usual Louise Juby ran a hard, fast, well-judged race, crossing the line in a personal best of 41.12, placing her third female finisher and securing her the hotly contested prize of first senior lady in the Leathes Prior Grand Prix series for 2017.

Six other Dereham Runners also competed in the Holt 10k, with James Nice notching up a new pb of 45.23. Emma Potter Campbell 45.41, Rob Crockford 48.06, Wayne Ramsbottom 51.12, Rory Campbell 58.20 and Hazel Cason 1.07.00.