Springwell Running Club - Press Release – 24th February 2019
Atlas Running ‘Last One Standing’
The ‘last One Standing’ events are a unique challenge of running stamina and mental strength as they are not about speed, but simply test just how long can you keep going. Atlas Running have been hosting these competitions in Northern Ireland since 2016 and they are well established in the running calendar with increasing numbers of runners testing their mental resolve and physical reserves.
The latest of these events started at midday on the 16th February in the grounds of Castleward on the shores of Strangford Lough. The event is very simple; at midday runners start a 4.2 mile lap of the Castleward Estate. They have to complete the lap within an hour and be ready to start the next lap at the start of the next hour. If a runner fails to complete the lap they are ‘timed out’ and any runner who doesn’t start the next lap on time is withdrawn from the event.
This year 121 runners started the event and it wasn’t until lap 6 that the first two left having completed 25.2 miles. As the race progressed the numbers were gradually reduced as the distance and the mental challenge began to take their toll. Taking part in the event for the first time Springwell RC’s Dale Corbett completed 11 laps (46.2 miles), the furthest distance he has ever run, before withdrawing from the competition having gained some valuable experience.
As the night progressed the numbers running quickly dropped as the rain and cold began to undermine the runners resolve and by morning only 23 were still in the competition. The milestone of lap 24 and the possibility of completing 100 miles was now tantalisingly close and there were no more withdrawals until lap 25 when a further 5 runners left, having earned a well deserved 100 mile medal. The hard core of runners left included Springwell RC’s Peter Cromie, a very experienced veteran of ‘Last One Standing’ events, having won previously at Castleward and more recently completed over 200 miles at Florencecourt in September 2018 to finish second and competed in the ‘Big Dog Backyard’ Ultra in the USA.
It wasn’t until midnight on Sunday 17th February that the field was finally whittled down to just two competitors, with Peter and Andy Persson, from Southville Running Club in Bristol, running into Monday. They matched each other for another 4 laps and 16.8 miles before Andy withdrew from the event leaving Peter to run a final solo lap to claim another well deserved win having completed 172.2 miles.