Mynd Dragon

Race Reports

Little Stretton was a far cry from Blackheath on Sunday morning, as just 50 runners assembled to tackle the Mynd Dragon. Our starter had his feet on the ground (for a start), as we set off along 100 yards of road before the first stream crossing, then negotiated a parked car, over the second, smaller stream, and the climb began. Once at the top of the Callow (1300′) we veered right into the wind, hit a climbing footpath and then dropped steeply over/through tufts of heather, which slowed me but seemed to give bolder runners soft landing as they bounded down. Up the other side and then more tufty heather on top (why can’t sheep walk in straight lines, and make wider paths?) then a more gentle slope down, over the stream and a scrabble to climb up out, before the last climb up the Grindle (1500′?) and relatively easy descent towards Ashes Hollow, but all the time expecting ‘time’s winged chariot’ (alias Gary) to come rushing down behind me. A sharp turn at the bottom as I caught Peter Johnson (1st over 60), but he got onto the footbridge first and outsprinted me to the line, 100 yards away. The race was won by Neal Crampton, a visitor from Pudsey and Bramley AC in 46 minutes. Lesser mortals from clubs such as Croft took a bit longer: I was 32nd (66.41), Gary was 37th (69.56) and Tom 42nd (76.04), our combined ages almost equaling our combined times in minutes (once again, we provided the three oldest competitors). The distance was variously given as 5 and 4.5 miles (the course changes each year) and the climb 500m to 575m. I’m not sure the Mynd Dragon is to everybody’s taste, but the chocolate cake afterwards would be appreciated by all.

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