Rose of the Shires winner Ben Shirley

Kissed by a Rose: Meet our Rose of the Shires winners

Meeting an old friend brings an unexplainable rejuvenation to your soul. Or so they say.

Or to be entirely accurate, so Google says when you search for quotes on meeting up with old friends.

Which is all a very long-winded way of saying that everyone gathered at Brixworth Country Park on Saturday morning for our Rose of the Shires Ultra was shocked, but happy, to see the return of our ‘old friend,’ the sun.

Of course, that didn’t mean there had been enough time for our 54-mile romp through the Northamptonshire countryside, taking in numerous picturesque villages across roads, fields and canal paths, to become nice and dry for our competitors.

But at least they would have been warm as they battled their way through the wet and mud.

This year, our Rose of the Shires racers were joined by those taking on our first ever Rosebud Marathon, an event designed to allow runners who might enjoy the glorious sights of Northamptonshire but haven’t quite worked their way up to the ultra distance yet.

It was that race which, perhaps, brought us the most exciting result of the day as David Maxen fought off challenges from Daniel Stewart and Michael Stadler – who joined us all the way from Seattle – to win in just over four hours.

What was really remarkable was that he did so in what was his first ever marathon.

PICTURES BELOW BY ADRIAN HOWES www.adrianhowesphotography.co.uk

Fiona Slevin-Brown finished in fourth place to win the Women’s Race, with Meggie Smith and Cate Hall producing excellent performances to grab second and third place in that category.

In the main event, Ben Shirley led from the start to earn first place in what he says will be his last event before taking some time out to be a new dad. We’ll see how long that lasts Ben!

Krystian Strycharski grabbed second place in the Rose of the Shires Ultra, while Laura Swanton-Rouvelin came in third to win the Women’s Race.

Second lady home was Elizabeth Phipps, while Mary-Ann Devally came third.

We hope everyone enjoyed the event – and that we will be seeing some ‘old friends’ back to take it on again next year.

ROSE of the shires results:

πŸ₯‡ Ben Shirley
πŸ₯ˆ Krystian Strycharski
πŸ₯‰ Laura Swanton-Rouvelin

MEN’S RACE πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ
πŸ₯‡ Ben Shirley
πŸ₯ˆ Krystian Strycharski
πŸ₯‰Graham Woodin

WOMEN’S RACE πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ
πŸ₯‡ Laura Swanton-Rouvelin
πŸ₯ˆ Elizabeth Phipps
πŸ₯‰Mary-Ann Devally
Left to right: Daniel Stewart (2nd), winner David Maxan, and Michael Stadler (3rd)


πŸ₯‡ David Maxen
πŸ₯ˆ Daniel Stewart
πŸ₯‰ Michael Stadler
Rosebud Marathon Women’s Top 3: πŸ₯‡ Fiona Slevin-Brown πŸ₯ˆ Meggie Smith πŸ₯‰ Cate Hall


πŸ₯‡ Fiona Slevin-Brown
πŸ₯ˆ Meggie Smith
πŸ₯‰ Cate Hall