At midday last Friday Sidmouth Running club’s Mark Andow and Adrian Harris started the Dartmoor 100, a 106+ mile circumnavigation of Dartmoor on the Dartmoor Way. Organised by Outer Edge events and described as a most challenging and adventurous route, the ultra-marathon had a 34 hour cut off.
Adrian described the weather as surprisingly good for Dartmoor, but the cold and very muddy conditions proved challenging; even more so as night fell and slipping around in the mud in the dark became very tiring, demoralising, and hard. Even with modern GPS technology the Mighty Green found it difficult to stay on the right path and tiredness was making it more difficult to skip over hidden roots and slippery rocks so after running for an impressive 10 hours, 42 miles, he decided to retire at Cornwood check point.
Meanwhile, strong and determined, Mark was being encouraged along by his support crew, wife Anna and dog, Ginny. They kept his spirits up, kept him company, supplied him with dry socks and custard; the MG said he couldn’t have done it without them.
Adrian also lifted Mark’s spirits when he returned to Dartmoor on Saturday to cheer Mark through Chagford at 5pm, Throwleigh, South Zeal and Belstone before running out to guide Mark and two others in on the last section. Calling him a Mighty Green hero, Mark really appreciated Adrian’s help through the brutal, potentially dangerous, as he was so tired, final stretch and crossed the finish line at 9.40pm, back in Okehampton nearly 34 hours later.
Describing Mark at the end, Adrian said he was obviously very tired and it would be wrong to call him cheery but no matter how you look at it his achievement was incredible, one of which he should be very proud. Reflecting on his epic challenge Mark said it was an awesome day/night/day/night experience, brutally hard but well worth it, a great adventure.