The race, across Salisbury Plain, was jointly organised by Avon Valley Runners and Westbury Rotary Club and DIO staff supplied key guidance on rights of way and byelaws, enabling route selection and accurate risk assessments, and took the lead in helping to notify other Plain users of the event.
The 32-mile ‘ultra marathon’ saw runners race around a route which included the Imber Range Perimeter Path. The path, which is open to the public, skirts the firing range at Imber. All 80 runners who started the race successfully completed the event.
The event raised more than £2,300 for Whizz-Kidz and local charity Dorothy House Hospice Care. Feedback from competitors was very positive, helped by the sunny weather, and organisers hope the Imber Ultra will return in 2015.
Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) is maintained by DIO, which delivers the training service, enabling defence training users to live, work, train and deploy at home and overseas.
Talking about the event, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Nigel Linge, Training Safety Officer at SPTA, said:
Whilst DIO’s priority is to support our armed forces as they prepare for operations, Salisbury Plain is a diverse training area which also offers the ideal terrain and landscape for a range of non-military events and activities.
I was pleased that we were able to assist in the organisation and facilitation of the first Imber Ultra Marathon and hope that we’re able to support the event again in future years.
Colonel Steven Carrington, one of the organisers, said:
We raised lots of money for our charities and would like to run the event again next year, when we anticipate more participants.
We couldn’t have done it without the support of DIO staff so we’re very grateful. I’d particularly like to thank Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Linge, who provided lots of information and advice.