What’s in a name? Well, maybe I for one should pay more attention: Wrekin fell race (5.5 miles, 540m of ascent), and I fell at the first hurdle! Tom and I arrived in good time, climbed most of the way up the Ercall to warm up and admired how dry the ground was, and noticed how cold the air was! At the start we found strangely attired runners, and no, it wasn’t exactly Sport Relief, it was a group of RAF personnel raising money for a colleague who had been badly injured in a parachuting accident. So we set off, amongst Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Spiderwoman, Boris Johnson et al.
The first climb went OK, then a steep, slippery descent before a smaller climb and descent, where someone had set up a jump, presumably not for horses, but maybe to deter mountain bikers. I hurdled the first fallen tree, only to discover I was going to land badly on, or just before, the second, smaller trunk, and in aborting I crashed headfirst into the bushes. Inelegant, but unobserved! Then came the slog up the Wrekin, before hurtling back down on the uneven, rocky surface, slaloming in and out of walkers. The final steep drop was tricky (for me, having opted for trail shoes, since it was so dry and much of the run was on stony tracks), then a few hundred yards on road before re-entering Ercall Wood, where the hurdle failed to get me the second time round. Although it was mostly runnable from here, with a little over a mile to go, tired legs made it tough, and the descent was fast but over roots and stones embedded in the track. 300 yards on road, before the school driveway leading to the finish. I arrived in time to see Boris J and his companion (Superman?) sprinting the last 150 yards or so neck and neck to the line, with Boris being defeated by a stride. Jon Bowie of Mercia raced around in 38.18 (running number 829); if I’d filled in my entry form that little bit faster, I’d have had his number(instead of 830), and then, who knows? Anyway, your two Croft representatives acquitted themselves honourably: Tom (91st, in 63.49) was 1st M65, and I was 1st M70, 74th overall, in 58.26. 105 runners completed the course, the last of the winter fell series.