Ben runs sub 2:30 hr. on The 2019 Grizzly

Ben Renshaw, in the middle of training for this year’s Paris marathon, ran a frankly unbelievable time of 2:29:02 in yesterday’s 2019 Grizzly (“Trails of the Unexpected”) and finished 6th out of more than 1,600 runners. “To put that in perspective, Ben was running at 3:24 marathon pace”, explains race editor Adam. “but had to contend with over 3,000 feet of climbing, two rivers, two bogs, two stretches of beach and the infamous stairway to heaven – a long flight of very steep steps to climb the 400 feet from the beach to Beer Head.

Ben’s victory was the high point of a strong Bridport Runner’s team, consisting of Adam, Chris, Gill, Jessame and Rachael. Here are their preliminary results (Axe Valley Runners as the organisers have yet to post the final results on their website).

GRIZZLY RESULTS (1,601 runners)

6th – Ben Renshaw – 2:29:02

72nd – Adam Slater – 2:50:33

108th – Chris Monteith – 2:57:22

779th – Rachel Moss – 4:00:19

CUB RESULTS (590 runners):

278th – Gillian Brooks – 1:59:15

281st – Jessame Coulson – 1:59:30

“The 2019 Grizzly was preceded by a week of rain, so I think we all know where this one was heading”, reports Adam about the race. “19 and a bit miles of mud, mud and more mud, and the day itself did not disappoint. Starting in Seaton,  the race takes in the length of the beach along Seaton seafront towards Axmouth, before taking in a few road miles towards Beer. From there it’s off road and inland from Branscombe to indulge in the infamous hills, rivers and knee deep bogs before returning through Beer to Seaton.

The course is never easy and it was definitely running slower this year e.g. than 2017 due to a combination of headwinds and slippery conditions underfoot. Those that hadn’t run the Grizzly before were at a slight advantage as the course regularly changes due to access permissions and a large portion of the inland course was this year run in reverse, therefore the hills that I feared became knee shattering descents – and the descents on which to make up time became gruelling hills.

Our very own Ben Renshaw, in the middle of training for the Paris marathon, ran a frankly unbelievable time of 2:29:02 to place 6th. To put this in perspective he was running at 3:24 marathon pace BUT had to contend with over 3000 feet of climbing, two rivers, two bogs, two stretches of beach and the infamous stairway to heaven, a long flight of very steep steps to climb the 400 feet from the beach to Beer Head.

For many running a 3:24 marathon on a flat road would be a lifetime achievement, of which they could justifiably be proud, Ben’s effort is therefore almost beyond comprehension for anyone that knows the Grizzly course. If it were not for being heavily boxed in at the start Ben would have placed higher, his chip time of 2:28:03 versus his gun time of 2:29:02 being 52 seconds faster than 5th place. I think it’s fair to say he’ll be back next year for revenge …”