Worcestershire Beacon race

Race Reports

The race was scheduled to start at 3pm, at the eastern foot of the Malverns. The forecast all week had suggested rain at 3pm (the symbol varying between one drop and two, coming out of a grey cloud) – at 10 to 3, a few drops began to fall,and it continued to rain till about half way round, then as we came round to the east side again, below the summit, there was a magnificent rainbow, starting and finishing either end of the town. But as well as the weather, there was a race. The first mile or so is continuous uphill, mostly on woodland paths, then the route undulated more, climbing more gently to the southern end and then we had a steady climb up to (almost) the summit, steep grassy descent (the only soft ground in 7 miles), then a track more or less along the contour till we hit the woodland path that would snake its way down to the finish. There were 225 finishers (which meant fairly congested early stages), with Andy Salt (who won the Brown Clee race 2 weeks earlier) winning in 46.18, 5 minutes outside the record time. Steve Herington was 1st MV60 (no 5 year categories) in 57.49, I was 102nd in 63.04 (2nd MV70), Brian D 172nd (3rd MV70 in 71.14) and Tom 175th (72.37) just losing the battle of the brothers. Interestingly, our combined ages (me, Brian and Tom) come to 207, and our combined race times came to 206 minutes 55 seconds. There was no prize though for such a coincidence. In entering this race I had thought that I’d find more MV70 competition, beyond the limits of Herefordshire/Shropshire where often there is no other 70 year old running, and found that out there in the bigger pond there are indeed bigger fish – Gordon Orme (Wales, and MV70 UK cross-country champion) was out there, leaving me over 4 minutes behind him, so I think I’ll wiggle back into my aquarium.

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