Ashby 20 attracts 1,500 runners to annual March event - and raises thousands of pounds for charity

By Richard Bebbington

19th Mar 2024 | Local News

Amy Lowe came home first in the women's event. All Photos: Aldi Ashby 20/Ivanhoe Runners
Amy Lowe came home first in the women's event. All Photos: Aldi Ashby 20/Ivanhoe Runners

Jack Dakin of Derby AC took the honours in Sunday's annual Aldi Ashby 20 Race which finished at the Bath Grounds - with the women's race won by Amy Lowe of Washlands Women Runners.

Athletes from across the country descended on Ashby to take part in the annual event, which was established in 1988.

The 20-mile road race, organised by runners for runners, started on Upper Packington Road in Ashby, going towards Packington before heading to Heather via Swepstone, returning to Packington via Normanton Le Heath.

After completing their second lap, the runners then headed towards the finish line on the Bath Grounds, where they were met by a large group of supporters.

The top three in the men's event took to the podium

Members of Ivanhoe Runners, along with the Explorer Scouts were out in the rain from 6am, setting up the course, ensuring the infrastructure was in place to make it an enjoyable and safe event for all involved.

With runners arriving from the early hours, they congregated around the Bath Grounds before heading towards the start for a prompt 10am start.

The Mayor of Ashby, Cllr Avril Wilson, offered the runners words of encouragement before officially starting the race.

Supporters came out in their hundreds to witness up to 1,500 runners start the professionally organised event, something you would expect to witness in a major city rather than Ashby.

 Soon after the start, the rain eased, helping runners to realise their goal.

Whether that was to get a certain time or simply to complete the undulating 20-mile route.

The first male runner, Dakin finished in a superb time of 1:52:22, followed closely by Daniel Bagley (un-affiliated) 1:53:44, and Simon Allen (Owls AC) 1:55:26.

Amy Lowe celebrated winning the women's race

Lowe was the first female home, and she finished looking as fresh as when she started with a time of 2:11:12.

Rebecca Randell (Shepshed RC) was close behind finishing in 2:14:05, closely followed by Rebecca Miller (Derby AC) in 2:15:01.

With two official race winners, there were also 1,295 other winners crossing the finish line, ready to pick up their well-earned famous Ashby 20 Hoodie, along with a cheese and tomato cob, prepared by Ashby Spa WI.

The runners had various reasons for competing in the 20-mile event.

Around 80 per cent of them were training for a Spring Marathon, including the London Marathon, and many were running for a charity, including Teenage Cancer Trust, Wishes 4 Kids, and Bright Hope House (formally known as Hospice Hope). T

The exact amount is not confirmed yet, however it is known to be in the thousands.

Gary Lowe, Wishes 4 Kids Charity Manager, said: "The support that you receive from all of the marshals and volunteers is truly incredible.

Jack Dakin comes home first in the men's event

"An unbelievable amount of over £2,000 has been raised, an amazing amount for our small charity."

Being a true community event, many other local organisations joined Ivanhoe Runners and the Ashby 20 Organising Committee to help on the day.

Without the local support, the event simply would not happen.

The organisers also thanked Leicestershire Search and Rescue, Heartwize, Explorer Scouts, Ashby Spa WI, Ashby Castle Rotary, Conkers parkrun, and the local community in supporting the runners around the route.

As well as Aldi, Pladis (McVities), Everyone Active, Derby Runner and Julia's Bakery also supported the event.


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