The 34th Surrey Hills Trail Challenge – Results and Race Report

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Report by Dan Findlay-Robinson

The day started wet and overcast and seemed to have put off a few as only 146 of the 200 entries arrived at the start line, but those that did were treated to a corker! The sun put in an appearance about two hours before the start and dried the ground up nicely.
This was the 34th running of the Surrey Hills race and the first under its new title, originally being known as the SILVA Hill Races. The series has been continuous since the first race in 1979, apart from the A-course (30K) being cancelled in 2001 due to Foot-and-Mouth. There is a list of both male and female winners here.

The course is a generally undulating route across the picturesque Surrey Hills taking in the summits of Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill on the longest courses and providing an interesting navigational challenge into the bargain. For those in the know or having previously recce’d the routes an advantage on race day is gained, causing much amusement as people get passed by much faster but more navigationally challenged/less prepared individuals. This however also leads to the very disconcerting sight of seeing those veterans of the event running without a map in sight!

Today’s race was as competitive as ever however and all the races were pushed to the finish line, especially in the B (16K) race where it was only the final hill which separated the 1st three, creating a 48 second spread. Further to this Tessa Hill took the women’s record on the B course which has stood since 1996 by 2:39! Which is a fantastic result.

Full Results
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Top results:

‘A’ Course Men – 30K

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
1st Edward Catmur Thames Hare & Hounds M21 132:36
2nd John Smallwood Cumberland Fell Runners M35 133:39
3rd Andrew Henderson Durham Fell Runners M45 139:33

4th Alexander Fullbrook Oxford University OC M21 147:15
5th Dan Findlay-Robinson South London Orienteers M21 149:06

‘A’ Course Women – 30k

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
16th Anne Davidson Dorking and Mole Valley AC W45 178:22
30th Sophie Moore Unattached W21 217:24
33rd Jacinta Keane Unattached W21 221:11

‘B’ Course men – 16K

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
1st Peter Hodkinson Erewash Valley RC M21 65:04
2nd Ben Stevens Ilkley Harriers AC M21 65:16
3rd Alan Cherry Ayr Seaforth M20 65:52
4th Jeremy Edwards Southern Navigators M35 69:40
5th David Rollins British Army OC M45 69:52

‘B’ Course Women – 16K

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
6th Tessa Hill Highgate Harriers W21 70.13
31st Karen Jones South London Orienteers W50 94:14
37th Catherine Gadd Unattached W45 102:52

‘C’ Course Men – 10K

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
1st David Fisher Tadworth AC M55 54:33
2nd Andrew Patrick Reigate Priory Athletic Club M45 55:01
3rd Martin Wilson Berkshire Orienteers M60 55:08
4th Audrius Janulynas South London Orienteers M21 55:20
5th Lorcan Woods Unattached M40 55:21

‘C’ Course Women – 10K

Pos Name Club Age Class Time
8th Caroline Court Dorking and Mole Valley AC W21 58:34
9th Jillian Holford Saxons OC W40 60:50
10th Carolyn Moon Mole Valley OC W40 66:20

Top: The race start. Top right: Tessa Hill, Women’s winner & record holder for the B course, with trophy. Bottom: The finish line.