Another weekend, another race! and another event that I am new to.
Darren’s Dash is a hill race which was first held in 2006. The Darren is a hill on the eastern edge of the Black Mountains and overlooks the Herefordshire village of Longtown. The course, which starts and finishes at LongtownPrimary School, is just under 6 miles long and includes a total of 1,500 ft. of ascent then follows the Offas Dyke path along the top of the hill.
Proceeds from the event are split between Longtown’s Primary School, PreSchool and Mountain Rescue Team so always has great support from the local community.
Although the views are fabulous from the summit of the Darren it was impossible to see this year because of low cloud, which produced some light rain which would be more of an annoyance to marshals and spectators than competitors, by the time I had reached the top of the hill I was soaked in sweat!
The race was won by John Pullen of Wye Valley Runners in 44:48 from Matt James of Hereford Couriers. First female being Nicola Gething of Parc Bryn Bach who finished in 54:21 to claim 23rd o/a.
A good turnout of Croft Ambrey Runners was led home, once again, by our junior sensation Andrew finishing 5th in 47:06 and winning the male junior category with ease. Both Pearson brothers made a welcome appearance: Gary, after his heroic adventure in the Moroccan Desert only a couple of months ago, finishing 12th in 51:27 whilst Patrick, who is himself returning from injury, finished 15th in 51:50. Gary G. ran his usual lightning descent and overtook me to claim 31st in 57:00 whilst I followed in 32nd place 36 seconds adrift. Another set of brothers, namely Tom and Brian Davies, completed Croft’s represenation, Tom finishing 36th in 1:00:45 and Brian finishing a perfectly respectable 49th in 1:04:38.
I think the rain finally abated when the last runners were finishing but isn’t that always how it is?
A testing run and well worth another attempt next year?