Punk Panther Races started in 2017. They organise 10 Ultra Marathons a year. There is a series of 6 Ultra Marathons, where each race accumulates points that count towards an annual trophy for men and women, but runners can of course just enter single races. Eccleshill now have a regular showing in this discipline in the form of three amigos Gareth Harland,Russel Naylor and Ian Storey. This weekend they collectively chose this 50k. With an entry limit of just 100 runners. The course starts and finishes in Pool in Wharfedale. Punk Panther Ultra marathons support St.Gemma’s Hospice and also raise money for defibrillators to be located along their courses. Their races are run over a variety of challenging terrains in West and North Yorkshire visiting stunning scenery including Ilkley Moor, The Chevin and the many reservoirs and beauty spots the area has to offer. Start times for this handicapped race are allocated when information on previous Punk Panther races is collated and average speeds are calculated. Allowances for previous distances run is also taken into consideration. This means staggered starts for our team.This type of discipline requires entrants to carry strategic items of kit, bearing in mind you start in daylight and potentially finish in the dark. There’s also the slight issue of survival, if you are trapped due to sudden inclement weather or get lost you are out there on your own. Everyone who finishes receives a long sleeve technical T-Shirt, Medal, Certificate AND a Christmas Present! There was also a Christmas themed buffet at the finish. Runners were encouraged to wear fancy dress if they so wished. The recent inclement weather continued into Saturday with wind, rain, snow and hail battering the competitors, making for extremely challenging conditions and following similar conditions a few weeks ago for their 80 miler, Ian decided against another battle with the elements.
Our guys made no secret of the fact that they found this race really tough, in Gareth’s own words he said that he thought Russell would agree that this race was the hardest they (Punk Panther) have ever organised.
In true ERR style both Gareth and Russell finished in a little over 9 hours (Official times TBC). Brilliant running well done!