Coast to coast - Rob completes 190 mile race
Rob Hopkins from Thornbury Running Club has a well earned reputation for taking on big and challenging events, including triple distance Ironman triathlons through Snowdonia National Park and fiendishly hard ultra-marathons.
Rob’s main goal for 2018 was the Northern Traverse, a 190-mile self-supported non-stop race along Wainwrights coast to coast route in northern England.
Aside from the extreme distance, the course took the runners from St Bees on the west coast through 3 hilly national parks. The first of these was the Lake District, followed by the Yorkshire Dales and finally the North York Moors before finishing in Robin Hood’s Bay on the East Coast.
Rob was followed with great interest by his Thornbury teammates. His GPS receiver tracked his progress on the race website across the long red line, which crossed the breadth of the country. As the hours and days progressed, many of the other very experienced ultra-runners were falling by the wayside and dropping out, but Rob’s marker kept moving forward.
When racing over several days, strategy and experience are very important factors and the runners had to judge when to rest during the race. Rob stopped for an unconventional break after a period of heavy drizzle, resting on a discarded door on the side of a hill at 3am for 2 hours before picking up the pace again.
Understandably, the body starts to protest when put through such an ordeal and Rob’s feet were suffering after 150 miles of racing. However, Rob’s mental strength and tenacity drove him on to Robin Hood’s Bay, finishing in 12th place in a remarkable 80 hours 34:20 mins.