September 3, 2023

Dunstable Downs Challenge – 3 September 2023

Dan Ashcroft reports:

On Sunday 3 September 2023, the Dunstable Downs Challenge took place on a fine and sunny morning, which turned into a hot and sticky midday and afternoon.

There are three distances to choose from, but only one worth talking about, which of course is the Marathon. Obviously all three start and finish in Dunstable and climb the gentle hills in the Dunstable Downs, the clue is in the name.

This report could mention all the places that the course goes through, but it’s unlikely that it will mean anything to most people so it doesn’t. It passes Whipsnade Zoo, but you can’t see anything. Most of the running is on trails and woodland paths, with plenty of tree roots to contend with, as well as the odd ploughed field to negotiate, but generally at this time of year the course is firm, not ideal for fell shoes! Also if you like aeroplanes, and why wouldn’t you, there are plenty of opportunities to spot them coming into land at nearby Luton. Overall, it is a well organised, nice little event with 6 feed stations enroute.

Unsurprisingly there was one sole representative from Matlock Athletic Club in the Marathon with Dan Ashcroft finishing somewhere out of a few runners in a time of 4:29:08. Results have not yet been published and there are no photos at the moment.