9 miles, 2,600ft ascent.
Paul Kent, Pat Austin and Mark Newell made the annual trip to Shropshire for the Cardington Cracker fell race. With the exception of last year, at least one club member has competed in this race since the year 2000.
The last person to finish the course gets a box of Christmas crackers, hence the name 'cracker' in the race name.
There are three major climbs during the race, two relatively short but very steep and one gradual ascent spaced over a distance of a mile. The route is a mixture of farm land, open hill side, woods, country lanes and the occasional road crossing. With stunning views and spectacular scenery this is one of the best fell races in the South of England. Having not been able to race over the fells for more than two years due to the pandemic, all three were lacking fell running fitness and looking to just get round and enjoy being on the fells again.
At the start of the first major climb, Mark was in last (Cracker winning position) position with Pat just one place ahead. There was never any need to panic as both knew what was ahead of them and knew that many of those in front would be eventually overhauled.
Final finish positions were; 145th Paul Kent 2:12:12, 166th Mark Newell 2:25:04, 169th Pat Austin 2:26:58. (183 finishers).