The Salisbury Plain ’15’ – A Brief History

Some memories from our member Stuart Anderson

Along with the Salisbury 10 this event was popular enough in the day to mean entries closed before the race day!

I remember turning up to enter on the day in 1986 as was the way to be told entries were sold out.

Organized by Amesbury Athletic Club last raced 1997 when celebrating 21 years. The event started as part of the towns millennium celebrations 1978 (Aelfthryth-Elfrith second wife of King Edgar who established Amesbury Abbey and is on Amesbury’s Town badge)

The 1st prize was £500 to the winner a race I finished 7th. Many international runners won over the 21 years including record holder Mike Gratton (London marathon winner that same year).

I was proud to have raced in the event a number of times and the event remains the furthest I have ever run either training or racing…15.5 miles.

The race started at Amesbury Abbey and took competitors to Wishford cum lake Lower Woodford, Avon Bridge, Netton, Stockport Bottom. Boscombe Down and finished in Holders Road. Not a route that would be safe now.

Previous local area winners included Ian Ray Salisbury (2.13 marathoner) John Boyes Bournemouth( 2.16 marathoner), Larry Austin Bournemouth ( 2.20 marathoner) Trevor Clarke Poole and Salisbury (  2.18 marathoner). I remember when I finished 3rd in 1989 going through 13.1 mile point in 72.30! It was a very competitive event and part of Amesbury’s history.

Salisbury Plain 15 Mile road race badge
Salisbury Plain ’15’ Mile road race badge