Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wrekin Wrecker Race - 21/11/2010

Recovering from the final ascent and preparing for
a very steep few hundred feet of downhill
Photo courtesy Al Tye (

Just back from another great morning's running - thanks to Newport & District Runners, who certainly put on a well marshalled event. The Wrecker has a pretty convoluted route, looping two and a half times round the Wrekin. It's 8.1 miles and 2,400' (AM) but visits every single rough gnarly bit of the hill.

Route and elevation / pace chart. The spike on the pace line is the very steep ascent of the Goaty path. The profile doesn't do the switchbacks on the runout at the end any justice at all. My GPS reads well under on distance, particularly under tree cover.

I started well enough (the start was from the Rifle Range this year) and put in a storming descent of the scree gully form Halfway House, overtaking at least 10 and maybe 15 runners on the way down. I was very glad I put on my Mudclaws as it's so slippery down there. I think I might have slightly overdone it because I felt very jaded on the next mile to the start of Goaty. This ascent is brutal, but easier when there are people to follow and you find the path.

As I reached the top something which turned out to be Steve Cale streaked past at almost supersonic speed, having already done the next climb. I love the descent of the BMX and passed three or four more. It's a superb single track which is often very slippery at the top. From the bottom the path climbs up Beeches which is steepish but runnable. However when I got back to Halfway House I felt very tired and had to hike most of the rest of the way back to the summit.

The final big descent is also very steep and I passed another couple of racers and caught the group in front of me, overtaking them on the way off Little Hill. It's single track for the first 200 yards so I waited and rested and then had them on the wider section lower down.

I had a very good runout, following Delwyn Williams who set a good pace and only walked a couple of the very steepest bits on the switchbacks. It must have been good because I stretched out between 15 and 75 seconds gap in a mile on the group I'd passed on the Little Hill descent. The finish was at the gateway onto the road, very welcome...

Nice to see and chat with Rick Robson (in the first mile - he must have lit the afterburners after the top of Heroes because he finished 15 minutes ahead of me ); Keith Campbell, a colleague of mine who made a very fine fist of his first (I think) fell race and gave me a scare when I looked round at the top of Goaty and he wasn't far behind; and John Nightingale (Lightning of these parts) who's been on the beer not the trails otherwise I wouldn't have beaten him.

The presentation was fun, and I had another good chat with Steven Cale - an all round nice guy who always has time for the also rans like me...

This is a hard race, and I was pretty satisfied with 1:31:24 for a 70%.

8.1 miles and 2,400' giving a weekly total of 30.4 miles and 5,350' and a rolling four week of 106.9 miles and 19,620': up 1.1 miles but DOWN ten whole feet :-(

1 comment:

  1. Good going Jim. You're getting faster I rekon.

    You're GPS track has come out well. The one I use on my phone stopped tracking halfway through the race and started again towards the end. Missing large section!

    I'm in London for the cracker so will probably see you another time.