Harvey leads stampede as Garden City Runners get ultra serious about distance

PUBLISHED: 09:33 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:33 07 September 2017

Alan Routledge and Katy Healy at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: CHRIS & TONY BARR

Alan Routledge and Katy Healy at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: CHRIS & TONY BARR


Ultra-marathon running took the focus for Garden City Runners this week – with the St Albans Stampede the main event.

Organised by St Albans Striders and ran in the picturesque setting of Heartwood Forest, the challenge is to cover the most distance within 12 hours.

It can be undertaken solo, as a pair or as a team relay.

Runners complete laps measuring 3.9 miles with only those laps being completed within the time limit being counted.

It was the third year of the event and this year’s edition saw 247 finishers, with seven GCRs taking part.

There were podium places for Peter Harvey, who ran an astonishing 17 solo laps totalling 66.3 miles in 11 hours 20 minutes 56 seconds, and completing 20 laps in 11:45:03 was the Four Fearless Females team, featuring GCR’s Rebecca Barden and Bethan Mose.

Barden said: “It was a fantastic event with a very friendly atmosphere, running in beautiful scenery around Heartwood Forest and Nomansland Common.

“After 7pm we ran with head torches, which was a sight to behold. Meeting Bethan on the course as she completed our 20th and final lap, runners materialised out of the forest gloom like so many fireflies.”

Alan Routledge completed a mammoth 14 laps in 11:35:57, Emma Ferry ran seven laps in 4:22:35, with Katy Healy and Denys Baudry running six laps in 3:41:53 and 4:06:28 respectively.

Katy Healy ran 23.4 miles as part of her training for the York marathon.

Across the North Sea Nick Genever continued his adventures, completing the Tromso Mountain Challenge in Norway.

Held over three days, he started with the MSM Extreme Race, a 3.2km race uphill to the Fjellstua cable car station, finishing in 28:01 for 63rd place.

That was followed by the Tromsø Mountain Ultra 50km race from Snarby to Tromsdalen, run through waterlogged peat bogs amongst other hazards before climbing a total of 1900m.

He finished that in 7:10:52, 28th out of 64 starters.

The last leg was the Tromsdalstinden 1238m Uphill Race, a 10.6km race to the peak of the Tromsdalstinden mountain.

That saw snow at the peak but Genever still managed to finish in 2:12:39 before turning round and running back down.

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