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(Probably) the most remote marathon in the world

Forget New York and London. The St Helena Festival of Running 2013 offers a real running challenge.

44 runners raced to enter the refreshing 3km race, the challenging 10km slog and the incredible 42km marathon (where entering is a feat in itself!) Certainly one of the most remote marathons on the planet, it’s also one of the toughest due to the terrain, with some challenging climbs and descents. But John Woollacott crossed the finish line in a commendable 5hrs 41 mins and 37 secs.

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All runners gathered at Francis Plain and plunged through weather ‘fit for ducks’. Not even the rain could hold back the competition as in the 10km run:

  • John Woollacott was the 1st male with a time of 53m 42s
  • Kath Squires was the 1st female with a time of 1hr 7m 50s
  • Charlotte Hubbard was the 1st girl with a time of 1hr 50m 9s

Each year spectators eagerly await the finale of St Helena’s Festival of Running – the Jacob’s Ladder Challenge. At the beginning of this year Graham Doig astounded the island by achieving a record breaking time of 5 minutes 16.78 seconds up Jacob’s Ladder; using both his hands and feet (clever trick!). Whilst eager racers tried their hardest, Graham’s record stands strong, as the closest time achieved at the Festival of Running was by Ross Towers with a proud 7 minutes 14.75 seconds.

When St Helena’s first airport opens up in 2016 this popular festival will be far more accessible to international athletes and will allow many to tick off a truly unique destination. St Helena is virgin territory for a range of adventure sports and the Festival of Running has shown just how exciting the island is.

Thank you to the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS) who supported the event.

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