Shropshire Fell Races
TITTERSTONE CLEE (2.5 miles / 750 feet)
This year we had a good turnout for a very wet and windy Clee race, the venue is the tiny hamlet of Cleeton Saint Mary near Cleobury Mortimer; Christian Poulton, Alan Black, Clem Dixon (all making their Shropshire debuts), Peter Hadley and Ian Marshall along with Anne Hadley and Alison Marshall. Arriving at registration the summit of the Clee was shrouded in mist and overnight persistent rain had made the lower slopes extremely boggy. However it was the wind that would be a feature.
Forty Nine runners were on the start line, after a short stretch on tarmac it was off onto the fell and find your own way across the bog and bracken until the usual preferred route was found by the leaders, although there are numerous ways of reaching the summit.
As you climbed the wind became more noticeable straight into your face along with the rain. The last 100mtrs or so to the summit trig point the wind was a howling gale that literally stopped you in your tracks, once round it was a job to keep control as the wind was directly behind you until managing to gain the lee of the hill. Then it was a case of hurtling back down keeping a watchful eye out for hidden rocks on the narrow path.
Near the finish the path seems to disappear and you can find yourself thrashing through bracken watching out for hidden small gullies and finding a less boggy route. Back on the tarmac and gallop the last 100mtrs or so to the finish. Everyone made it back to the finish ok with Christian leading the way in 9th place. The race was won by a 17 year old with his 15 year old brother in 6th place!
RESULTS: 9. Christian 24:23 18. Clem 28:34 1st V50 24. Alan 29:11 37. Pete 33:34 1st V65 38. Ian 33:51
LONG MYND VALLEYS (11.5 miles / 4500 feet)
The venue is Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton. For the Sunday we were joined by Paul Kent and Dave Tull who were supporting the runners at various parts along the course. Alan, Christian, Clem and Darren O'Brien were all running the race for the first time. As is usual with this race there is a random kit check, if you are not carrying full w/proof cover, hat, gloves, map and compass you don't start.
The weather at least was dry although a strong cold breeze was still blowing. A quick start on tarmac for 300mtrs or so but no are brought to near halt you start a steep climb, this warms you up nicely. The course from then on takes you in a large loop on and around the stunning Long Mynd, up and down it's various"batches" or small valleys. There is a sting in the tail, the last 3 miles or so include some steep long grassy hills and descents but there are some fantastic views.
Unfortunately Alan took a tumble and had to retire, everyone else finished ok. Darren picked a tough one for his first fell race but done really well to get round, thanks to Mark for guiding him round. Also, a great run from Christian but well done to all. All in all an excellent weekend of fell racing.
RESULTS: 16. Christian 2:00:32 75. Clem 2:23:08 171. Ian 3:01:45 181. Pete 3:27:44 182. Darren 3:30:32 183. Mark 3:31:12
COMBINED RESULTS: For those that ran both races the Clee time is x3 and added to the Long Mynd time, this year 16 ran both. 3. Christian 3:13:41 (3x 24:23 + 2:00:32) 7. Clem 3:48:50 (3x 28:34 + 2:23:08) 1st M50 12. Ian 4:43:18 (3x 33:51 + 3:01:45) 1st M65 14. Peter 5:08:26 (3x 33:34 + 3:27:44)