Wiltshire Publications

Success for Second ever Imber Ultramarathon


The Imber Ultramarathon gets underway at Leighton Sports Centre

The Imber Ultramarathon at Leighton Recreation Centre

THE second Imber Ultramarathon took place last weekend with more runners, faster times, and plenty of praise for the improving event.

This year’s race, held on Sunday 8th March, saw 111 runners; a large increase on the 80 who ran last year. All but three of the runners completed the route.

The ultramarathon is a 33-mile cross-country race along the Imber Range Perimeter Path, starting and finishing at the  Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury.

This year’s winner was Ed Catmur from Thames Hare and Hounds running club in Wimbledon. Ed completed the run in 3:51.07; seven and a half minutes quicker than last year’s winner Matthew Maynard.

Race organiser Richard Hudson said, “This year’s Imber Ultramarathon went extremely well, and we are very happy with how the second running of the event went. The race attracted some seriously good runners from across the country, including competitors from Cornwall, London, and Birmingham. The weather was certainly not as pleasant as last year but it was a great effort from all the runners; from those at the back who ran for over seven hours, to Ed Catmur who made it look easy in a vest and shorts, and everyone in between.

“We’ve had excellent feedback from lots of runners and it seems to be a really enjoyable race for everyone. They have praised the organisation of the event, calling it the friendliest run they’ve ever done, and said that the route has views to die for.

“We think of the run more as a challenge than a race – completing it is more important than getting a fast time. We strive to make it a quality, friendly, and fun day, and are very grateful for all the support from our Rotary Club volunteers and those from Avon Valley Runners.

“As well as enjoyment, one of the main purposes of the race is to raise money for charity. I believe we have raised about £2,500 this year for the Rotary Club of Westbury to donate to their chosen charities.

“The perimeter path is a great route, and this is a good time of year to run it. We will definitely be looking to do it again next year, and hope it continues to grow in popularity.”

To find out more about the Imber Ultramarathon event or see the results, go to www.imber-ultra.org.