The Off The Beaten Track 50k race is evidently a permanent fixture in the sporting calendar judging by the popularity of the latest run last week.
The individual winners were Conrad Proud in just over five hours and Lizzie Berns an hour later. Most sensibly elected to run in teams and the gruelling race, which is about five miles longer than a 26.2 mile marathon, seems to have captured the imagination of many weekend warriors. Kayaking was introduced for the first time in one leg which added an extra dimension to the challenge. It started and finished at Public Beach on West Bay Road.
Organised by Krys Global, it replicates the arduous Marathon des Sables, in Morocco, the world’s tough run that lasts six days in scorching desert conditions by day and freezing temperatures at night.
The first relay team to finish was The Leftovers in 3 hours, 43 minutes and 24 seconds, which comprised of Marius Acker, Chris Rose, Jonathan Shillito, Tristan Von Kirchenheim, Carl Grant and Ray Welds.
The fasted coed relay team was Marco’s Marauders finishing in 4:20:47. They were Marlon Crowe, Marco Miranda, Gabriela Davies, Martin Davies, Roger Davies and Sam Ellis.
The Ogiers Girls, who have participated all three years, finished the race with a time of 4:47:57. They were Lisa Kehoe, Claire Lloyd-Hickey, Dawn Kirton, Kirsten McMillan, Pat McCallum and Claire Hughes. The team included four lawyers so hopefully no one will sue another for not running fast enough.
Pat McCullum said: “I enjoyed it because it was a different type of race, running off on trails through different areas that you didn’t know existed before. It was a nice change to just running on ordinary roads. I saw bush areas and dyke roads that I didn’t know were there and I found that interesting.
“I did the beach leg, the fifth one. It was a bit tough, but you just have to know that you should run on the hard sand. It was a mixture of running on the road, bush and sand but once you knew your route you were pretty much okay. Everyone of my team had something interesting to say about their legs. None of the routes were straight forward. I’ll do it again, for sure.”
Organiser Ken Krys said: “I do it every year but this time I did it as a team and only did the last leg. I’m getting lazy!
“We had our best turn out this year, close to 20 teams and the nine individual runners was a lot more than before so people are starting to get more interested. I think people are really getting into the spirit of it. The fact that it can be done as a relay gives them a chance to experience it and everybody I’ve talked to say how much they’ve enjoyed it, even those that got lost along the way. It’s exactly the way it should be.”
Krys is dog sledging in Norway and the Arctic Circle this week in slightly cooler temperatures than here. Over $25,000 was raised for the various charities he supports.