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Contrary to expectations at the beginning of the week, Extreme Energy's Sealskinz Ultra Trail Series' Pony Express took place in the New Forest in great conditions for running – apart from one cold shower of hailstones!
The competitors, ranging from the novice ultra runner right through to a 'veteran' clocking up her 300th marathon, set off on Saturday morning from Brockenhurst, covering 30 miles of an off road undulating course incorporating paths, heathland, woodlands and former rail tracks.
After an overnight stop at Rockford, Day 2 saw good weather again as participants headed off on the return leg along a different 30 mile trail, showing off the best that the Forest has to offer, with conditions good underfoot.
Some impressive times and performances from the participants, whether they were at the front or at the back, with a real camaraderie evident from all - and plenty of support from the Forest's wild ponies, who took a close interest in the checkpoint crews!
Top 3 Men Results:
Damian Carr 33 yrs, M 07:15:14 (1st overall)
Tom North 46 yrs, M 07:46:13 (2nd overall)
Steve Graves 30 yrs, M 07:59:07 (3rd overall)
Top 3 Female Results:
Sally Ford 39 yrs, F 08:43:06 (8th overall)
Emily Cook 36 yrs; F 09:49:04 (9th overall)
Nicky Phillips 38 yrs F 10:09:46 (24th overall)