The Ashridge 5 Trail Race on 23 September 2012 started in the heart of the beautiful Ashridge Forest at the top of the Chilterns plateau. The course is undulating, heading through 2,000 acres of atmospheric mature woodland before tackling the mighty Pitstone Hill with fantastic views across the Tring gap and vale of Aylesbury. This is an exciting course with varied terrain and spectacular views.
Entrants to the second Ashridge 5 trail race arrived at the Bridgewater Monument deep in the woods to be greeted by a cloudy and chilly morning. The air was still and the rain held off until almost half the field were home. The pack was soon strung out with the leaders easily following the marked trail through the forest. There was tough terrain to cover before the reward of the glorious views from the open top of the ridge overlooking miles and miles of the surrounding country side and villages. After that it was not long until runners reached the relief of a flatter home straight along “the terrace” paths back through the woods to the finish. Dirt Running had set up temporary camp near the Bridgewater Monument where runners thoroughly enjoyed their post race cakes whilst wearing well-earned medals.
The first male Andrew Cracknell crossed the line in 29.55. Second and third males were Rob Simmonds (30:31) and Paul Halford (31:12), excellent times for a scenic but challenging course. The first Lady home was Georgia Dench (34:16), followed by Maggie Allen (36:43) and Sarah Paradine (37:30).
A slightly adjusted course meant that the distance was shorter this year with most runners recording exactly 5 miles on their satellite watches.
Age Category winners were MV40 Paul Halford, MV50 Nigel Sheppard, MV60 David Stanley, FV35 Georgia Dench, FV45 Susan Person-McDonald, FV55 Jane Welch. Full results can be found at www.dirtrunning.co.uk.