Pensford Publow and the Stantons Community Trust fundraiser wins accolades from runners
Saturday 24th January 2015 saw the inaugural running of the “ROK THE STONES” off-road marathon in Stanton Drew and surrounding villages in the beautiful Chew Valley, North East Somerset.
A gloriously sunny but cold day greeted the 91 runners who took part, comprising 64 who ran individually and 27 who made up 9 relay teams. The 3 loop course, commenced from the famous and historically- significant Stanton Drew Stone Circle, and visited Pensford, Compton Dando, Maes knoll, Stanton Wick, Folly Farm and Stowey. Each loop started and ended at Stanton Drew village hall, which served as the main refuelling station with what appeared to be limitless quantities of hot and cold snacks. A hot chilli (in all senses) was available to each runner on completion of the course.
Runners came from as far afield as Merseyside, Essex, Cornwall and Dorset as well as from all surrounding counties. To quote one of the relay runners, Andy Fagg from Bristol’s Town and Country Harriers:
“A brilliant race: a masterpiece of organisation, a cracking route, fabulous food and welcoming laid back atmosphere. Can we do it again next year?”
Overall winner was Clare Prosser from Wells City Harriers whilst the men’s event enjoyed joint winners in Richard Clifton of Chard Road Runners and local boy Mark Finn of Somer AC.
Simon Whittle and Judith Chubb-Whittle who jointly organised the event were delighted with the outcome.
“Organising and pulling everything together was challenging, but in equal measure, very rewarding due to the overwhelming positivity from all the runners” said Simon. “The course was described as one of the hardest yet most enjoyable that many had run and all experienced a real sense of achievement on completing the self-navigation course. All the runners where very complimentary in recognising the hard work from all the volunteers who made the event possible. My personal thanks to all the marshals, car park attendants, village hall helpers and in particular the ladies who manned the kitchen from 6:30 in the morning until early evening to keep everyone fed and watered, and in addition the ladies of the WI who served soup and hot drinks on demand, as well as making cakes”.
Judith added, “A group of people to whom we should extend special thanks are all of the local landowners who gave permission for us to run across their private land. Without them this event would not have been possible. We tried very hard to leave everything as we found it and hope that we achieved that”.
All surplus funds will be donated to the Pensford, Publow and Stantons Community Trust for the support of local community good causes.
Next year’s event? Watch this space!!