New Fastest Un-Supported Time for Offa's Dyke Path

4th April 2019


A group of runners from North Wales have set a new fastest time for the Offa’s Dyke Path. 

Four challengers took part in the epic ultra-marathon - Jason Harper, 47 from Valley (Anglesey), Nia Albiston, 40 from Amlwch (Anglesey), Gordon Hughes, 37 from Llanaelhaearn (Gwynedd), and Laurent Gorce, 43 from Abererch, Pwllheli (Gwynedd).

Gorce and Harper had to pull out of the challenge partway due to injury, but Albiston and Hughes, completed the 177-mile challenge in 63 hours 1 minute, beating the previous time by 69 minutes.

The team had set out on their challenge in order to help raise funds for Wales Air Ambulance.  They had been supported by family and friends, as well as companies including Welsh snack brand Wild Trail, which fuelled the runners with its natural energy bars. Other sponsors included Fenix Light, Spike-Free Fuel, LightUpU, Sturdy By Design and Revvies Energy Strip.

 The four runners started at the south point of the Offa’s Dyke Path near Chepstow in the early morning of Friday March 22, setting out to run 177 miles to reach the finish point in Prestatyn on Sunday March 24.  

Harper was forced to retire from the challenge on 62 miles due to sickness, while Gorce followed 11 miles later due to an ankle injury.  However, they stayed on as part of the support team until the end.

 It was late on Sunday evening (March 24), in the wind and rain, that Albiston and Hughes reached the finish point in Prestatyn.

Their time beat the previous fastest known time which had been set by Michael Wood in July 2012.  The runners had stopped along the 177-mile route only twice for short sleep stops as their strategy had been to give themselves as much running time as possible.

 Full-time GP Albiston said afterwards: “It’s an amazing feeling to have got to the end, after all the hard work and preparation, and to have beaten the fastest time is the icing on the cake! It was a really tough challenge, but we dug in and it was almost a feeling of relief when we ran down that final road and could see the team at the end point! I’m really proud of the team – we all supported each other and it’s great we can all share in the success.”

Hughes added: “That is one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life but it was absolutely worth it. The trail is tough, with so much variation in terrain, and the weather wasn’t always our friend, but we just kept going. To get to the end, and in the record time, just feels like a massive achievement. It made it even sweeter that we were able to use our challenge to help raise funds for Wales Air Ambulance.”

Article above from Trail Running Magazine

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