Ultra-running Tyrer brothers smash record for 71-mile Ribble Way

Records are made to be broken . . . but not by the amount ultra-runners Sam and Chris Tyrer destroyed the 71-mile Ribble Way.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 12:30 pm

The Penwortham brothers set out before 6am in North Yorkshire to beat the previous best time of 21 hours 20 minutes set in 2018.

They hit the finish line at the Dolphin Pub in Longton in an incredible 12h 10m 19s - more than nine hours faster than holder Iain Asher from Blackburn.

"We floored it," said Sam. "I was confident we could beat the old record, but not by that much.

Sam, left, and Chris clock up the miles as they chase more records.
Sam, left, and Chris clock up the miles as they chase more records.

"The time is up there now and it's up to someone to beat it."

Sam, 28, and Chris 31, are both elite runners and have competed in the gruelling Ironman Triathlon. But the Ribble Way run was their first-ever record attempt and now they have others in their sights.

"We're having a look at some and we have a few organised races coming up this year," said Chris.

"Then we're aiming to do the Wainwright Coast to Coast next April - which is 190 miles over a maximum of five days. You could say we're dedicated, although others might say mad."

Job done ... Sam and Chris outside the Dolphin pub in Longton at the end of their record-breaking run.

Like the world famous Brownlee brothers, the Tyrers train together, getting up at 4am most mornings to hit the day running.

Sam, who now lives in the Clitheroe area, is an award-winning mental health campaigner and works in the NHS. Chris, based in Hutton, has his own plumbing business.

Both went to school at All Hallows RC High School in Penwortham, with Sam studying for A-Levels and playing rugby as a sixth-former at Hutton Grammar School.

They both followed their father Chris Snr into triathlon - he still runs at the age of 57 and finished a 55 kilometre run in the Lake District last July.

"I think we've been gifted with good genetics," said Sam. "Our granddad and uncles were all good runners too.

"We fancied our chances with the Ribble Way. We set off at quarter to five in the morning facing more than 70 miles over mixed terrain, with fields, tracks and roads. The course has 4,400 feet of climbs overall.

"The weather was fantastic, we couldn't have asked for a better day. And when we got going we were doing six miles an hour which, over that terrain, was really good going.

"To be fair we just looked upon it as a good enjoyable day out together. Dad and granddad were supporting us along the way with food and drinks, so it was like a big family outing.

"We kept up a steady pace, side by side, all along the route. Chris has always been a faster runner, but I seem to have more stamina.

"Every credit to the previous record holder, but we went into this incredibly well-prepared and we were confident we could beat it."

Chris, who lives in Hutton, said: "We gave it a right go, didn't we. To finish it in just over 12 hours was incredible. We just wanted to set a time that might encourage others to have a go, but at the same time be difficult for them to beat.

"It was my first race over that distance and certainly the last few hours I was in a lot of pain.

"It was enjoyable, sadistically so. There was a time when I asked myself 'what am I doing?' But then the euphoria of finishing and the sense of achievement took over. It was brilliant."

Amongst the challenges coming up for the boys is the Ring O' Fire in Anglesey, a 135-mile coastal ultra-marathon over three days in September. Until then they will both be up before dawn training to go that extra mile.