Fast and fun, Shrewsbury Seven Bridges on 19th Sept didn’t involve as many stairs as I feared, and its great for family to spectate as well.
The initial loop of the park includes a short, sharp hill before a long flat section along the quiet, idyllic river bank, passing underneath all sorts of bridges. The U-turn past the first bridge created an entertaining section of contra-flow, which allowed me to eyeball the front-runners (whom I never normally see, of course!) and for friends to encourage others in-front and behind them. If you’re going to run in a town, this is fun: flip round corners, swing round bannisters, up narrow paths, tow paths, green tracks and parkland. By half-way I still had four bridges to cross, and what bridges they were! Toll bridges, road bridges, footbridges, ugly ones and pretty ones; I hadn’t a clue where I was!
Spectators can watch the start, first lap and uphill finish from the vantage point of the Quarry leisure centre, and on any of the bridges. Once the race is under way there is a fun-run, a children’s play area and an ice cream van to keep you entertained! As the leisure centre was open, it provided toilets, food and even dry areas to stand and watch. The swimming pool was open, so a post-race swim would have been a luxury. There is no parking at the centre, but I paid to park in a quiet car park in a nearby square. As normal leisure centre facilities are available, there were plenty of lockers for bags, so it was not a problem.
Of 254 runners I came 114th and was 14th out of 96 women runners. Of all the women aged 40 and over I was 6th out of 48! I hoped to finish in 60 minutes, but managed 52:19, just 36 seconds off my pb. Fastest man was 34:48, fastest lady: 46:05.