Some may say Beka Millington is barking mad and bitten off more than she can chew but more likely is that she is one gutsy lady up for a challenge !
She has been training her young Sheepdog Gary the sport of Canicross since she got him as a pup and boy would he have enjoyed running with her over Saddleworth Moors. This was a race just for humans though and poor Gary had to stay at home but she advised he was there with her in spirit. Nominee for Bolton Harriers Female Distance Track Athlete of the Year Beka has proved she is a much more versatile athlete and at home on all surfaces and terrain.
Beka talked about her new goals “After a rocky road to the London Marathon I decided to switch my focus from times and try a new challenge for 2022. My first ultra marathon! I’m running Race to the Castle (100km nonstop) at the end of May, and Saddleworth 10 Reservoirs was the first of 2 training races I have in the build-up”.
The Saddleworth Ten Reservoir’s is described as a high level moorland challenge visiting 10 local reservoirs along the way. Due to the time of year full winter kit was required including full waterproof cover, hat and gloves, map and compass, spare clothing and food. Not for the faint hearted it’s 26 miles with 4400 ft of ascent. Starting from the Dysart Arms and past Dovestones and Yeoman Hey Reservoirs heading 2 miles up to the crags of Ravenstones. More ascent then over White Moss to Blackmoss Reservoir and eastwards along the Pennine Way before descending into Wessenden Valley. More ascent then to the ‘Isle of Skye’ road. A journey then across more of the Pennine Way to Chew Reservoir. Through the woods and back to the Dysart Arms.
After a slog of more than 5 hours and enough to break the will of many runners Beka made it back to the welcome of her proud partner Josh and beaming parents Mike and Karen, who had travelled all the way up from Southampton.
After a short recovery and some sustenance a delighted Beka said “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at marathon distance, it was amazing ! Very very tough in parts, with going into a bog over my knees being one of the hardest parts, but absolutely beautiful. I’m bloody chuffed with myself !