Ripon couple tackle the Pyrénées

The view from the Port de Venasque in the Luchon Aneto Trail Race
The view from the Port de Venasque in the Luchon Aneto Trail Race

Two runners from Ripon took part in an off-road race in Harrogate’s twin town, Luchon in France.

Iain and Jo Wallace from Ripon Runners ran the Luchon Aneto Trail Race starting from Harrogate’s French twin town of Luchon in the High Pyrénées.

The Wallaces who are husband and wife chose to run the 44km Venasque route which consists of over 2800 metres of uphill running.

Mrs Wallace said: “It’s not a fast race, it can be pretty hard work. We trained in the four months before but we had already been doing some long distance training for a while.”

Both the Wallaces are experienced and passionate runners who met at the running club for Manchester University.

Mrs Wallace said: “We have got a passion for the great outdoors. I do it partly because I love the area and the scenery. I like somewhere beautiful to run but also the challenge, it is the achievement that you have done it.”

The couple have completed many off-road races like this one before, including the Zermatt race in Sweden, and say they try to complete at least one trail race abroad every year.

Jo completed the course in 7 hours 15 and was second lady in her age category whilst Iain suffered a hamstring injury but finished in 7 hours 46.

Race organiser, Olivier Dejean is keen to promote the race and has welcomed more runners from the UK and particularly Harrogate to compete in the future.

For more information about the Luchon Aneto Race, go to