The picturesque but punishing Exmoor National Park yesterday played host to the Red Bull Steeplechase. Not an actual steeplechase but 23 miles of gruelling ascent and descent, the race follows a unique knockout format. At each of the four steeples, the back-end of the field is eliminated. Four-hundred competitors started but only the fastest 40 (20 men, 20 women) made it to the finish at Lynmouth seafront.
In first position in the men’s category was fell legend Ricky Lightfoot, from Cumbria, who broke the tape in a time of 02:41:22. He was followed by James McMullan (02:50:16) and MR’s own Ceri Rees (02:54:04)
On crossing the finish line, Lightfoot said, “It was my first Red Bull Steeplechase and it was great. I really enjoyed the course and running along the coastline was stunning. The track had lots of challenges but once you cross the last steeple and you’re heading downhill, you can see the finish line next to the crystal blue water of Lynmouth – you can’t ask for better than that.”
The fastest female on the day was London’s Claire Rogers, crossing the line in a time 03:19:57, followed by Mary Menon (03:23:26) and Victoria Crawford (03:28:22)
Rogers said, “I am so pleased to win such a fabulous race. It has been an amazing day – I had so much fun crawling up the muddy steeples but my favourite parts had to be the sections of flats through the forests. I made sure to do lots of endurance training in the weeks before the race – a race like this is a real stamina test.”
For more information, visit the race website