A lovely sunny October morning saw the start of the Shropshire winter fell series, at Breidden Hills. I don’t think Gary appreciated it quite as much, having slept (?) in the back of his van as recovery from yesterday’s 10 mile fell race in Snowdonia, where he won the over 70s prize. A breakfast of jelly babies wasn’t quite enough to overcome the fatigue induced by running more than 10 miles, over difficult boggy terrain and where he several times had to wait for a slower runner to give him directions.
Today’s 7 mile race starts at Criggion with a long steady climb up a stony forest track, then swings left over fields, before climbing higher on a bracken covered hill, a fast descent and then up again, winding along a path between trees on the next hilltop, before being confronted with the dreaded rock face (possibly worse going down, than if we’d had to climb it), and then a fearsomely steep gully with loose stones, earth and leaves. More woodland and then the final scramble up to Rodney’s Pillar and rush down along uneven, stony paths till we hit the forestry track again, with half a mile down to the finish.
103 competed, Dominic Jones won by a clear margin, in 58.06. There were 4 over 70s (this is one of the gentler races!): I was first (63rd overall) in 1.25.02, with Gary second (77th) in 1.30.20. Gary picked up the over 70 award for the summer series.