January 7, 2007
Tim Doran 1:34:29
Sarah Thomas 1:58:29
No. of Finishers
Choosing to take part in an event based purely on its name can be a dangerous business. You’d be under no illusion that an easy ride was in store at an event called the Hellrunner but when a race advertises itself as a lollop, it’s tempting to start conjuring images of an amble through a rural idyll in the company of a select band of smiling, ruddy-faced runners.
Of course the reality is somewhat different, although the slippery slopes of this three-lap multi-terrain 13 miler certainly reduced some runners to a lollop.
The third running of the race enjoyed more clement weather than in previous years when sleet and snow buffeted runners, but the previous week’s rain and intermittent showers on the day created slippery mud on the steep hills, holes filled with murky water and soft going in many places. The organisers did issue some helpful advice though: “Runners were advised to steer clear of the centre of the puddles,” says the race director, Ian Mayhew.
Tim Doran seemed to manage the puddles, though, to make it three wins in a row. He was also first to claim the free hot drinks and cakes for every runner, as well as a free race photo from www.digimoments.co.uk.
With some tough multi-terrain races attracting record numbers of runners, it’s a mystery why this race isn’t more popular. The Lollop takes place on the same site as the Saab Salomon Hellrunner, an autumn 11-mile event which regularly attracts more than 1,000 runners.
While the Lollop’s field might be smaller – just 41 runners completed the race, 10 more than last year – the course is just as challenging as the Hellrunner’s, according to one runner who’d tackled both events. Perhaps 13 miles is just a little too far for most of the tough guys out there.