It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that:
- To scramble up a near vertical slope is crazy but possible, to fling oneself at a run deliberately down the precipice the other side seems more like suicide.
- Injured runners, when faced with a race situation, suddenly start to believe that maybe they are infallible after all…
The first explains why I regard fell running with some bemusement and terror as well as respect. The second explains why I found myself standing in a car park in Church Stretton with walking boots in one hand, running shoes in the other, in a state of terrified indecision.
My family had bailed out on me for the 3 mile Family Walk option at the Church Stretton “Morning After” event on 1 st January. This left me the choice to either join a friendly throng of families, children and dogs to walk 3 miles, or a friendly throng of fell runners to run 5 miles over and around the Long Mynd.
Thankyou Tom! You were right! It was a fun run. It was fantastic – and I got round! The views were amazing, the terrain was varied, interesting and not just up and down.
Everyone was very friendly and helpful; “this is about halfway!” shouted my neighbour encouragingly as I collapsed on the summit! It didn’t matter that most of my fitness was only in my head, that I nearly tipped over backwards on the one vertical slope taking out everyone behind me like ninepins, or that as I crabstepped the downhill precipice, the Marshall on the corner edge jokingly spread out his arms wide to catch me!
Whether you take your family and dogs to walk, or run the 5 miles, this is a great event to welcome the new year. Followed by soup and a roll, at £5 entry on the day it helpfully allows for such last minute decisions as mine, at a chaotic time of year.