The third of this summer’s Shropshire fell series races started in All Stretton, on a chilly but dry evening, with 4 of the hardy Croft veterans from Saturday’s Buttermere- Sailbeck race testing out their legs again on a shorter, gentler course. We set off (all 119 of us) up the lane, thinning out a bit by the time we got to the narrower climbing paths. The first climb is quite short, followed by a steady run over undulating hilltop, down to a stream crossing and another steady upward run, though my legs were telling me that walking was a better idea. More runnable terrain on top, along the edge of the golf course, before we dropped down to the valley (and the finish? no chance – one more steep hill). Gary sped past me at this stage, as I thought he was perhaps suffering the ill-effects of Saturday’s race! I caught him, despairingly, on the climb, knowing he’d race past me again on the descent to the finish, which he duly did, waiting till at least half way down before pouncing, and then negotiating the rocks where he fell and gashed his face last year, and beating me to the line by 14 seconds. Gary P led the Croft runners home (41st, in 33.21), but only just ahead of Toby Newman (45th, 33.41) – they’d both set off for home before we crossed the line. Gary G was 1st MV70 (3 wins from 3 races) in 39.02, I was one place behind in 86th. Tom was 2nd MV65, just inside 100th place, in 42.54, some 45 seconds faster than last year.