Stanza Stone Ultra Sat 8th June 2024

Saturday saw the 2nd running of Cragg Runners’ Stanza Stone 50 mile ultra. The Stanza Stones are 6 poems created by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage around the theme of water and then carved into rocks and placed at various locations across the Pennine moors. The race follows a beautiful linear route up the spine of the Pennines starting from Marsden and visiting the 6 Stanza Stones to then finish in Ilkley. Apart from the daunting distance the route also has over 2000m of climbing so anyone signing up is in for a fairly long day out although with a total time allowance of 24 hours the event also caters for those who want to walk the route.

112 runners set out from Marsden cricket club at 9am with a lot of the chat around people being happy to just finish before they needed to get their head torches out. The weather started wet, and misty but was soon forecast to clear which led to ideal conditions for this type of race with a temperature of around 14 degrees and a cool breeze. Without any sort of advance planning all 4 Toddies running ended up doing the first 25km to check point 1 at Mytholmroyd pretty well together, just like a pack run outing!! From then on Darren pulled away while the rest of us stayed within a couple of minutes of each other right through to leg 4 where the distance started to take it’s toll on myself and Pete with Robin finishing very strongly.

The event is brilliantly well organised by Daz, Joolz & the Cragg Runner team. There are 3 indoor feed stations along with 3 further stations enroute all stocked with loads of food & drink not to mention a huge band of friendly, encouraging, cheering volunteers. Massive thanks to everyone involved in putting the event on and to those helping out with it.

The event was won by Rory Harris in an impressive time of 8hrs 3mins, first lady was Amy Smith in 11hrs 6mins

Toddy times were:

Darren Tweed – 21st in 10hrs 29mins

Robin Tuddenham – 34th in 11hrs 11mins

Bob Halstead – 40th in 11hrs 23mins

Pete Rolls – 42nd in 11hrs 46mins

Report by Bob Halstead

Cover photo: CP6 Ilkley Moor. Kim, Fran and Louise supporting through the night.

Helen TippingStanza Stone Ultra Sat 8th June 2024