Jon Ellis has achieved great success in ultra running throughout this year, including fourth place in the gruelling Swissalpine Marathon 78K race in July.
Having won the South Downs Way 50 in April and the North Downs Way 50 in May, he turned his attention this autumn to the Chiltern Wonderland 50 in September and the Wendover Woods 50 in November. Runners who complete all four of these 50-mile races in a single calendar year (and within the cut-off deadline) are recognised by a Grand Slam award.
With two victories under his belt, the target for Jon was clearly to win all four! It went to plan in race three, which he won by a very decisive margin, but he had to settle for second in the final race, when fatigue finally took its toll in the closing stages. However, he did break the ‘grand slam’ record for the cumulative time across all four events, by some margin.
There’s a nice report of both races on the race organiser’s website:
Jon says: “I’m taking a proper break right now, I was a bit spent by the end of the season to be honest. I’ll start building again in January, I have four target races lined up in 2018…” He also adds that he’s intending to do a couple of local road races in February and March, so hopefully we’ll bump into him somewhere along the way and pray that some of that endurance is contagious.