Beast of Bitterley

Race Reports

There are several reasons this race was less well supported by Croft runners this year – the Man v Horse race the day before, which attracted 16 (?) club members, the Magic Roundabout and the heavy rain which greeted us on Sunday morning. Having missed last year’s race through injury, I was keen to tackle a local race up the slopes of Titterstone Clee. After registration and a short warm-up, I realised the rain had more or less stopped, so we assembled, all 51 of us, on the road outside the school to be told the course was likely to be wet and slippery(!), and that the first stile was quite close to the start. So from the word go, we jockeyed for a good position ready for the queue for the stile, where we enjoyed a brief chance to catch our breath, but then the climb started – across another field, through a farmyard (with a marshal at a barn opening to stop us taking a short cut), up a short stretch of tarmac, then a more seriously steep field before we attacked the slopes of Clee Hill. Apart from a short flatter section through bracken, it was a question of walking and scrambling. Once on top we passed the trig point, but low cloud and the need to concentrate on where to put your feet without falling, meant no admiring of the views. A pleasant run down the other side, then a more or less level path took us back towards our starting point on the lower slopes. The ‘less’ level sections of short climb were a bit of a trial! By now, the 51 starters were largely well spread out, so no queues at the stiles and a relatively unpressured trot down to the finish, which appeared quite suddenly in the last field before the road, 1/2 a mile before the start point. A fine display of cakes was on offer at the school, and the race results were pinned up very promptly. Jamie Shingler came home first, in 40.41, ahead of his new Ludlow Runner clubmate Andy Salt. Amy Fulford was first female, in 49.06, and I was 26th in 57.42.

1 thought on “Beast of Bitterley

  1. good running Guy. Damn those stiles..hate them with a vengeance! I have been meaning to post about the Magic Roundabout, just a few of us there (probably one of only a few times when I can say, first CA runner home). Maybe somebody will beat me to an Offa’s Dyke 15 post but the tempo events website has been down so no timings as yet…but we did very well!

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