The Shropshire weekend one of the highlights in our Fell calendar. The Titterstone Clee is a 2.5 mile round trip to the highest point in Shropshire and back. The Long Mynd race on the Sunday is a classic of 11.5 miles with a sting in the tail of some steep grassy climbs and descents, a great course with stunning views. A successful weekend for the club with Christian and Clem winning age category prizes at the Clee and various age category winners for the Clee/Lomg Mynd combined results. Also, an impressive debut from Tarbo Fukazawa.
Titterstone Clee (2.5 miles / 750’)
This year blue sky for this race! Normal weather is mist & rain but not today! although heavy rain on the Friday made for boggy going on the lower slopes. We had a good turnout; Christian Poulton, Clem Dixon, Pat Austin, Ian Marshall and making his debut Tarbo Fukazawa. Race numbers were slightly down this year, 36 toed the start line on the narrow road beneath the Clee, the clear weather enabled viewing of nearly the whole route including the radar station at the top with it’s huge ‘golf ball’, only hidden bit was the last section up to the summit cairn.
After a short stretch on tarmac it was off onto the squelchy fell to find your way across the lower slopes dodging the sheep until the normal path to the summit was found by the leaders, although there are numerous ways of reaching the summit. Once at the summit round the cairn, briefly take in the fantastic views and 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. A tremendous run from Tarbo meant he just pipped Christian on the run in on the road. The good weather seemed to have inspired everyone to a quicker time this year.
At the prize presentation Christian was 1st M50 and Clem 1st M55. Also, we presented Christian with the ‘rock’ (the John Finlay Trophy) for winning the club Fell Running Grand Prix for 2016. John Finlay back in the early 1990’s was responsible for introducing us to fell running.
9. Tarbo 23:19
10. Christian 23:22
16. Clem 26:22
26. Ian 31:39
30. Pat 34:47
Long Mynd Valleys (11.5 miles / 4500’)
The venue is Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton. We had 5 running, Christian, Clem, Tarbo, Mark and Ian. The weather was dry, clear, very cold but little breeze. We had a few supporters along and Dave Tull took the photos. As part of safety procedures and to ensure that all runners are counted for around the course your number had a series of tear off strips that had to be dropped into buckets at various points.
Off at 11:30, a stampede on tarmac for the first 300mtrs or so but suddenly you are confronted with the first climb which exercises the lungs & legs no end but warms you up nicely. The course from then on takes you on a large loop on and around the stunning Long Mynd, up and down it’s various ‘batches’ or small valleys. There is a big sting in the tail, the last 3 miles or so include some steep long grassy hills and descents but there are some fantastic views. A great course.