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This blog is so great, you wood not believe it! - RFTT 2023 report

DISCLAIMER: There may or may not be more acorn-y jokes below. Consume at your own risk.

2nd March has rolled around and that means that Run for the Trees 2023 is well and truly complete. A massive thank you to everyone who has taken part and supported this month-long challenge. What a blast it’s been, from sharing our miles and photos on the Community group, to the guided events (and importantly, cake!) to the Run-Forest virtual race series.

Photo credit: Claire Corkhill

There's always that point half-way through February where there's a mild panic that it may not be possible, that there are too many miles left to log and everyone is particularly fed-up of taking photos of trees...some of us even felt as though the trees were questioning us? And suddenly, it's the end of the month and we're all a little bit down that the fun is over. Well let's not become weeping-willows, cheer yourselves up by looking at what we achieved;

  • Over 20,000 miles logged during February; that’s about three-and-a-half times as long as the Great Wall of China!

  • We achieved our pledged 111 trees, plus we’re adding a couple of extras from the proceeds of our “Half marathon for the Trees” wayfarer special, so in total ONE-HUNDRED-AND-THIRTEEN TREES will be planted in the National Forest!

  • 266 people and hounds took part in RFTT and thanks to the introduction of the Dogwood challenge, there are some seriously fit hounds out there… or tired ones in Sooty’s case!

Award Winners

Everyone has done amazingly to stay motivated and determined during February, but it’s time to shout out those participants that have really stood out from the crowd - wearing a lobster costume in public will do that! - and so here are the winners of our various awards in no particular order;

  • Environmental Award, for kindness to, stewardship and awareness of the environment

Julie, Alfie & Luna Dean for their regular litter-picks, taking care of our wonderful trails and local area.

  • Best Fancy Dress

Rachel Wylde for dressing as a lobster… outdoors… in public!

  • Furthest Away Participant (measured from Derbyshire, UK)

Amy Thompson in Norway, for the second time! Thank you for your continued support from over-seas. We cannot be-leaf it!

  • Bestest Bark Award, for the first four-legged friend to complete the Dogwood Challenge

Tess, with the assistance of Russell Cartwright. Good girl Tess!

  • Fastest Known Tree, the first person to complete the Oak Challenge

Karen Ryder - a huge well done on your achievement.

Photo Competition Winners

Each week a photo competition has been held on the Peak Running Community Group; there were some splendid, some funny and some very sweet photos! The weekly winners were;

  • Week One: Pascale Holden with a beautiful tree and sky shot

  • Week Two: Joint winners, Catherine Wynn (the trees) and Helen Louise (Knob Lane)

  • Week Three: Alice Millward with the gorgeous Alfie atop a tree stump

  • Week Four: Lisa Benbow with a stunning shot of the moon over trees

The Run-Forest Virtual Race Series Results

The male winners for each of the virtual races;

  • Sapling Sprint (1km) - Darren Cresswell

  • Solo Starlight (3.2km) - Darren Cresswell

  • PR pr (5km) - Julian Waldron

  • Half Bash (8km) - Alistair Haywood

  • Personal Bash (16.1km) - Julian Waldron

  • Half Marathon for the Trees (21.1km) - Darren Cresswell

  • Double Bash (32.2km) - Darren Cresswell

  • Marathon for the Trees (42.2km) - Mark Page

  • Sir Wilfred’s Challenge (58.7km) - Mark Page

  • The Whole Forest (120.7km) - Mark Page

I know what you’re thinking, “where are the female winners”? Well, there is just the ONE female winner.

DONNA REID has won first female in every virtual race she entered and even won a few of them outright!

Upon hearing the news, Donna said “I have four kids aged between 1 and 9 and so getting ‘me time’ never happened until I started up running again. I sometimes feel guilty - especially on long runs! - but I’ve really noticed the difference regular running makes on my mental health when I get out there and get it done!

Donna is also a co-leader at Swad Joggers, on the Parkrun Juniors Core Team and is a member of Derby Tri Club and South Derbyshire Road Runners. Donna may sound super-human, but when it comes to photos she says "who are these people who get lovely running ones? My hair is always a complete mess, and/or they get me as I’m coming up a hill from hell!". A HUGE well done Donna!

The Run-Forest Race Series Champions (based on their best 6 race distance positions):

  • Male Champion - Darren Cresswell

  • Female Champion - (no surprises here!) Donna Reid

And last but certainly not least, there is the coveted “Run-Forest Slam Award” for anyone who completes ALL ten races in the virtual series (in separate outings). Some of you will be able to take a good guess at who our only finisher was… MARK PAGE!

Mark even completed some of the runs on our suggested routes, including The Whole Forest (75 miles!) and the Double Bash. Well done Mark on this outstanding achievement.

What incredible performances from our virtual series winners and everyone collectively, earning over one-hundred trees during the month of February, to be planted in the National Forest. What do I follow that with... I'm feeling a little "stumped" to be honest.

Well, I suppose I better get on with posting your finisher awards, prizes, technical tops and certificates! But before that, a final thank you for making the month of February - that can sometimes be a bit miserable - extra fun and special! A special thanks to the Derby Runner for supporting Run for the Trees for another year by offering a splendid discount... Okay, okay let's not get "sappy".

Give yourselves a massive round of applause - we did it!

Dani, Peak Running

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