On 9th March 2008 our intrepid reporter went undercover to get the inside on this year�s Ashby 20 race. Vicky Yeomans took up her position as a race marshal at 1.5 miles/10.7 miles to bring you the best possible coverage of the race. Due to the terrible weather conditions that blighted last year's race the field was some 150 competitors short this time round and ironically the weather was breezy but sunny. The course was rural, undulating and perfect preparation for London so unsurprisingly Long Eaton Runners were out in force, 26 of them to be precise and they outshone the rest of the field.

Neil Renault battled his way to finish first in a time of 1:52:36. Andy McNeil finished 6th in 1:57:10 and Paul Lewis finished 7th in 2:01:42. These three made up the men's team and unsurprisingly given their fantastic individual performances they finished in first place. Not to be out done by the boys, Monica Fee put in a brilliant performance and battled her way to 4th position in her category, finishing in a personal best time of 2:23:29. Andy Colegate completed the course in 2:04:47, finishing in a very respectable 14th position. Ian Chant finished in 2:13:44, finishing in 48th position overall.

Martin Way finished in 2:26:30, followed closely by Ash Patel who finished in 2:29:25. Mario Rocchelli and Alan Maplethorpe worked off each other, Mario ultimately finishing a fraction ahead of Alan in a time of 2:33:08. Alan's finishing time was 2:33:44. John Hay completed the course in 2:37:04 and Shaun Burton finished in a time of 2:42:46. Catherine Benson finished in 2:45:29. With Vicky marshalling the course, it didn't take Phil Abbott long to find a replacement running buddy for the race (or should that be two). As he approached the 1.5-mile point he had nuzzled himself between Sarah Crannage and Caroline Waterhouse. The three of them ran almost the entire course together. Phil finished in 2:46:09, with Sarah finishing in 2:46:10 (not very gracious of Phil) and Caroline finished in 2:47:31. Teresa Kay finished in 2:48:23. Catherine Rowe and Bill Sheppard ran the course together with Catherine just pipping Bill on the finishing stretch. Catherine finished in 2:52:17 and Bill in 2:52:27. Another team who ran a lot of the course together were Debbie Coleman and Mark Harrison. Debbie finished in 3:02:45, with Mark finishing in 3:05:27. Mark Goodson finished in 3:05:20. Melanie Berry finished in 3:06:58, with Richard Mckie finishing in 3:11:37, Nicola Bennett in 3:14:03 and Pete Thorburn in 3:48:32. Fantastic performances all round.

The race was very well organised, with plenty of refreshments provided along the course and at the finish, along with a cracking goodie bag. Thanks to all the supporters, particularly Colin and the three Bikers, Glen, Karen and Nicola.


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