Home   Grantham   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Grantham Running Club’s Drury celebrates 50th birthday with Lake District challenge

There are many ways to celebrate a 50th birthday but Grantham Running Club’s Craig Drury chose to race up England’s third highest peak and shaved nearly an hour off his course best to boot.

Family and friends came from as far away as Geneva and London to support him in the Lake District as Craig made his second attempt at running one of the country’s toughest fell races – Hellvellyn and the Dodds.

A 24km race with 4,386 feet of climbing saw Craig run to the top of Helvellyn and back down again.

Craig Drury
Craig Drury

For the past few months Craig could have been spotted repeatedly running laps up and down Grantham’s Hills and Hollows in preparation for this year’s race.

Craig enjoyed perfect conditions for the race, it was warm but not hot, with a cool breeze.

As 11am approached, Craig was very nervous as last year he had taken 5hr 3min (it was his first proper fell race), only beating those who retired from the race.

Guided by local fell running legend Lesley Malarkey (FV70) of Keswick AC, Craig kept his head when climbing to the top of the first summit, Clough Head (726m), then to Great Dodd (857m) and the cut-off point at Raise (883m).

Last year, Craig just made the cut-off time of 1pm; this year he was feeling strong and made it there almost 20 minutes faster.

Craig and Lesley hit the summit within seconds of each other, but she showed her fell running skills going down the rocky descent of Lower Man, where she came into her own and showed Craig the best “trods” or routes.

In only his fifth fell race, it was clear there is a lot of skill to running down mountains as well as fitness.

Completing the course this year in 4hr 9min 57sec, Craig was 53 minutes faster than last year – that is a 17.5 per cent improvement.

The cheers from his supporting friends and family gave him that extra boost to finish under 250 minutes.

The winner’s time was 2:06:23 by Bertie Houghton from Dark Peak Fell Runners.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More