Winners back to defend Buxton Carnival road race crowns

Local legend Andy Wilton in action in last year's race.
Local legend Andy Wilton in action in last year's race.

This Saturday sees the third running of the new four mile route for the annual Buxton Carnival Day road race.

Last year’s winner, Ryan Holroyd of Staffordshire Moorlands AC, ran the course in an new record time of 20 minutes and 17 seconds, with Sharon Johnstone, of Wilmslow RC, claiming the ladies’ trophy in a time of 25 minutes and 32 seconds, a new ladies’ record.

Both are expected to defend their titles and local legend Andy Wilton will again be competing.

Last year’s race was the usual hectic affair, ensuring that the start tied in with the Carnival Procession, but it proved to be highly successful.

Nearly 200 runners enjoyed the warm conditions and the fairly flat and fast route, with a short ‘sting in the tail’ up Bath Road before heading through the festive crowds lining the High Street to the finish line.

The route takes runners along the spectator-lined Burlington Road too, and the crowds gave them tumultuous support as they sped past.

Starting as usual at New Wye Street, the route will travel along Spring Gardens, the Quadrant and on to St John’s Road, up to the Duke of York at Burbage, and then left on to Macclesfield Road.

At the bottom of Macclesfield Road, the route will turn left on to Burlington Road. At the end of Burlington Road, the race will once again head up to Burbage, and back down Macclesfield Road to then proceed up Bath Road to finish on High Street, near to The Vaults.

Buxton AC have received a lot of pre-entries but, subject to availability, entries on the day will be taken from noon at the University of Derby Halls of Residence, Bridge Street, Buxton (behind the Railway Hotel) and the prize-giving presentation will take place there at approximately 3pm.

The race will begin promptly at 1.45pm from New Wye Street, near the town centre Waitrose Car Park and will be started by the Buxton Wells Dressing Festival Queen. Buxton Raceway will once again provide the lead car.

Last year, the Junior Male title went to Ben Bower who finished in a time of 25.14, in an excellent 21st position overall. As first local junior home, Ben was the fitting winner of a new award presented for the first time last year, the Thomas Theyer Memorial Trophy, kindly donated by Thomas’s parents Chris and Alan Theyer and proudly presented by his sister, Aimee.

The trophy will be presented annually and is in memory of Thomas, who was a popular member of Buxton AC’s Junior Section, and who competed in the 2013 Carnival Race.

Louisa Whittingham, of Macclesfield Harriers, was the first Junior Female home in a time of 28.25, and she was fourth female overall. She will be very tough to beat this year.

“Buxton AC would like to thank the local Police, High Peak Borough Council, Buxton Raceway and the Carnival Committee for their help in supporting the race, said race director Peter Bailey.