With all eyes on the Olympic Games and the fight to be the fastest man in the world in the 100m, spare a thought for those preparing for the inaugural New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District. At 56.5 miles this race is all about endurance. But with a growing elite field of runners entering the event, speed will certainly be a factor in determining the winner.
The New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District is part of the first ever festival of off-road running: The Big Running Weekend, which also features a more modest 12.12 mile race and 10K plus fun run and orienteering events. All the races will start and finish at Whirlow Hall Farm, Sheffield’s own Urban Farm, which will act as race HQ and venue for the Running Expo and Motivational Talks that will form part of the festival. The Big Running Weekend takes place from Saturday 25th August through to Monday 27th August.
With the line-up for the motivational talks now confirmed, all entrants will be able to take inspiration from an elite field of runners prior to standing shoulder to shoulder with them on the start line of the event:
- Heading the line-up is Sheffield resident, Stuart Walker, who will be speaking about his Big Alps run, having just completed a 1000 mile run over the Alps in 30 days, averaging 35 miles per day.
Stuart is just 26 years old and he currently holds the record for running solo across Hadrian’s Wall and is also leading the UK’s Ultra Championship race series (2012).
- Darryl Watton (pictured), from Sheffield, will explain how he coped with the extreme heat and conditions in the notorious Marathon des Sables – a 151 mile race that takes place over 6 days in the Sahara Desert in which he finished 35th.
Darryl was 1st Vet and 3rd overall in Pony Express, a 2 day 60 mile ultra run; he was also 4th in the Cardiff Ultra (50 miles); 2nd in the South Downs Way (a 3 day 105 mile run).
An informal Q&A session will follow the motivational talks and Stuart and Darryl will be joined by:
- Marcus Scotney – Represented England 4 times at 100Km including the inaugural Commonwealth 100Km Championships in 2009. He was also part of Team GB at the World and European 100Km Championships (Silver Medallist). Marcus finished 4th in the British 100Km Championships 2012 and 5th in the recent Anglo Celtic Plate Race (100Km)
Marcus, will be returning to Sheffield, having been a resident in the area for a number of years and member of local fell running club, Dark Peak.
- Carl Thackery – Ex-GB Half Marathoner (61.04) and Ex-World Record Holder for the One Hour Run (20,855m) – running as far as possible in one hour.
- Julian Lings – Current English Duathlon Champion, 2011 British Champion and Runner Up in Sheffield’s Half Marathon 2012.
The talks and Q&A take place on Saturday 25th August at 7pm. Entry is free to those taking part in the Big Running Weekend, or £5 on the door to those who’d like to attend. All proceeds of the Running Talk will be passed to the events official charity and host, the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust.
A Course Recce will be taking place on Sunday 5th August for those who have entered the New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District and the 12.12.
If you would like to enter any of the events at the Big Running Weekend then visit www.bigrunningweekend.co.uk Alternatively call into Accelerate Running Store on Attercliffe Road, Sheffield or into Whirlow Hall Trust Farm, Whirlow Lane, Sheffield.