“For those about to run we salute you.” These are the words to describe the heroic efforts of 52 brave runners at the inaugural Chester 100 from GB Ultras. The epic weekend (19-20 May) included another win for the all-conquering Charlie Sharpe.
Early morning sunshine gave a hint of what was to come weather-wise as the runners gathered at the start of what was for many, their first 100 mile ultra. This was also my first time over this distance and I waited with a mixture of excitement and trepidation of what lay ahead.
At 6.10am everyone streamed out of Waverton Village Hall on a stunning route made all the more attractive by blue skies and bright sunlight. We followed a large loop that included Chester, along the Shropshire canal, up Helsby and Frodsham hills followed by a few more undulations around the halfway point at Delamere Forest. Then a rather long stretch to Whitchurch before turning around and back towards Tilston, Eccleston Ferry and the finish at Waverton.
Temperatures had been climbing steadily, reaching 25 degrees by the middle of the day which took their toll on quite a few of those taking part. The heat and injuries resulted in a few DNF’s including the leading lady Emma Marks. She tried to continue despite pain from an ankle injury as the result of a bad fall but had to retire after 50 miles.
Charlie Sharpe won the first Chester 100 in 18:04 and claimed his fourth consecutive win in the GB Ultras races to date. Sharon Spriggs was the first lady in an outstanding 24:40. The last runner crossed the line in 35:28 and there were 37 finishers out of 52.
Veni, vidi, vici (Julius Caesar).