Aldi Ashby 20 attracted 1,500 runners for the annual road race organised by Ivanhoe Runners
By Ashby Nub News Reporter
28th Mar 2023 | Local Sport
With a spring in their step, 1,500 runners descended on Ashby to take part in the annual Aldi Ashby 20 - a 20 mile 'BARR Gold' road race organised by runners, for runners.
After 12 months preparation by Ivanhoe Runners, the 'not for profit' event took place on Sunday.
Changing the clocks the night before, runners started arriving first thing Sunday morning, congregating around the streets of Ashby and in cafes before starting on Upper Packington Road.
With a mass start at 10am the scenes resembled streets of London during the marathon, rather than the market town of Ashby.
With the early rain easing, the runners headed towards Packington over the A42 bridge.
They then aimed towards Measham Road before commencing on a two-lap scenic country road course, taking them past Champney Springs, through Heather via Swepstone and heading towards Packington after visiting Normanton Le Heath.
The roads were lined with volunteers from Ivanhoe Runners, Conkers parkrun and Ashby Castle Rotary, cheering on the runners who joined the race from all four corners of the UK.
Medical cover was managed by Leicestershire Search and Rescue.
After completing the course, the runners headed back towards Ashby before crossing the finish line at the Bath Grounds, earning their special edition Ashby 20 famous hoodie.
Ivanhoe Runner, Abigail Halcarz came in at 2:07:53, taking the first female place - and Daniel Bagley, of Mansfield Harriers, finished in 1:47:36 as the male winner.
As always, the runners all had their individual challenges and stories, some to beat their time, others simply to complete the distance.
Many ran for their chosen charities with Wishes 4 Kids, Hospice Hope, and Teenage Cancer Trust all benefiting.
The latter saw three Aldi employees running as Cuthbert the caterpillar, in preparation for the London Marathon.
Earlier on the Bath Grounds, around 100 children took part in two separate fun runs organised by the Ivanhoe Robins.
Both being twice around the perimeter of the park, this was the first time since the pandemic, and each child earned a medal to show off to their friends and family.
Richard Bebbington, the Race Director said: "Each year never ceases to amaze me.
"Despite the early wet conditions, all the runners eagerly awaited the start on Upper Packington Road, Ashby, while volunteers wrapped up well to support the athletes.
"As always, the feedback was simply amazing.
"It really is an absolute pleasure to be part of the Ivanhoe Runners who spend hours of their own time to put on such a race with such a great reputation - and with participants from throughout the UK.
"Many thanks to all our volunteers, the runners, our sponsors, and most importantly the support from the local community."
Preparations are already in place for next year's event, which takes place on March 17.