ENDURANCE runner Ben Hague is ready to take a step back after completing back-to-back wins in the Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham race.
The Rotherham Harrier overcame illness to complete the 50-mile route around the boundary of the borough in just under six hours, slashing four minutes off the time he won in last year.
It was an effort which left the 33-year-old elated but exhausted as he crossed the line at Manvers Waterfront Boat Club in 5hrs 57mins 18secs, well ahead of runner-up Rory Harris.
“I had been ill two weeks before with flu,” said Ben. “It wasn’t ideal because I like to run every day and I wasn’t running like I normally do.
“It was touch and go whether I was going to enter but it went alright.
Ben Hague receives the winner's trophy from Pat Rowbotham, wife of Ralph Rowbotham, who the race is named after.
“I was slightly disappointed last year because I wanted to get under the six-hour mark and that’s why I came back this year to get under that milestone.
“I will run the race again, possibly next year, but running it like I ran it – really fast – is quite an effort.
“I am looking forward to maybe having a year off or having a nice and steady run round and enjoy it because it is debatable whether running that fast for that long is enjoyable. I do it to test myself in a way.”
In the ladies race, event newcomer Sabrina Vergee finished first in 7:47.41, crossing the line sixth overall.
Brian Gregory, of Retford, finished in a time just outside 14 hours at the age of 83.
To view a full photo gallery from the race click here