THERE was a record turnout for the annual Runners versus Cyclists Boxing Day event held at Friday Woods.

Competitors took up the 7k challenge over a tough muddy course.

For the first time in 21 years, the runners triumphed to victory to halt the dominance of the cyclists' hold over the Markham Cup, after one of the top six cyclists was disqualified for not dismounting from his bike at a danger point of the course.

All competitors had been warned of this procedure at the start of the race by one of the race officials.


Cyclist Cameron Hurst led throughout the race from start to the finish with a dominant display of skilful riding over the deep muddy course.

The 23-year-old equalled cyclist Ivan Burch's record of seven wins after covering the three-lap course in a time of 18 minutes 19 seconds.

He finished more than a minute in front of second-placed cyclist Isaac Starmer (19m 30s), followed by fellow cyclists Dan Hall (third, 19m 41s); Ben Paton (23m 28s) and David West (24m 05s).

The first runner to finish was the in-form Ben Felton, a previous three-time winner of this event for the runners, after he clocked a time of 23m 19s.


He was followed by fellow athletes Jim Gordon, 23m 29s, Tom Rehal, 23m 35s, James Preston, 24m 13s, 16-year-old Finlay Greenleaf, 24m 35s and Cameron Humphries 24m 40s.

In the Ladies Event, there was a brilliant run by under-20 international athlete, Lizzie Wellstead.

She dominated the women's section to finish first in a time of 23m 53s, followed by an impressive Lydia Callan (second) 25m 59s; and Eleanor Mayne (3rd) 28m 40s. There was an excellent turnout by the ladies.

There was some impressive running by all the under-13s before the start of the main race.

The first three runners home were Adam Hart (6m 22s), followed by second-placed runner Mia Lawes runner (7m 6s) and Elizabeth Whall (7m 46s) in third.

The next three cyclists were Jacob Wilson (fifth, eight minutes), Noah Wilson (sixth, 8m 7s) with Noah Watson (9m 20s).

The future looking bright for the continuation of this event.

The presentations were made by athletics coach John Hyland and international athlete Lizzie Wellstead, to cap off a good morning's sport that was well organised by Craig Mitchell and his team.

Big thanks go to the Army for allowing the event to be held at Friday Woods once again - the 60th year that the Runners v Cyclists race has been held at this location.