Kenilworth Runner finishes fifth in six-day 235-mile ultramarathon

By James Smith

3rd Sep 2021 | Running

A member of Kenilworth Runners has finished in fifth place after a 235-mile six-day ultamarathon.

Andy Snow took his place among the 21 entrants to complete the Deadwater 2021 event, starting in Scotland heading through England, to finish in the sh of Chester Castle, featuring 27,000ft of ascent.

Whilst Andy is an experienced ultra runner, this race was further than he had been before, and 50 per cent further than a typical global multistage race.

Whilst running, competitors carry everything they need for stages one to three. They then collect a drop bag on the finish line at the end of stage three which include provisions for the final three days.

The only support provided by the race organisers is in the form of hot and cold water, tent pitching and medical support.

While in a normal year the event can host 50 competitors, this year there were only a total of 21 competitors toeing the start line, 19 men and two women.

These athletes were vetted prior to entry with minimum requirements being at least one 100-mile race and successful completion of a multistage event.

Whilst all experienced athletes, this event challenges not just their physical and mental ability but also their hydration, nutrition, foot care, sleep, pack weight and pacing.

On stage one the runners were drenched as they ran from Deadwater through Kielder Forest covering 33.5 miles.

Day two saw more rain along the 37 miles along the Pennine Way with the terrain starting to offer more elevation.

The third day brought drier conditions but participant's clothing and equipment was still damp as they then faced 46 miles across Wild Boar fell, with yet more elevation.

Conditions turned on their head as they day progressed, with the fierce sun toasting the competitors for the rest of the week with temperatures in the high 20'sC.

The fourth day was named the Long Stage and offered up 49 miles of running and the most elevation of any day as the route partially crossed one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

It was on this day that Andy Snow started to show his full capabilities; as the runners ahead of him in the standings began to struggle, Andy kept at it and finished fourth fastest for the day.

The fifth day, known as 'Canal Hell', proved quite a contrast in scenery and running experience as it largely followed the canal network through Manchester for 40 miles.

The sixth and final day, called 'Rush to the Castle', was the shortest day, but by no means the easiest.

The route started on the Manchester Ship Canal and followed trails, road and canals to arrive at the finish in the shadow of Chester Castle.

Andy capitalised on his fourth day performance to finish fifth overall in 63 hours, 5 minutes and 38 seconds.

The race was won by Andy Quicke in 52 hours, 10 minutes and 57 seconds and 16 of the starters managed to finish the event.


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