|The last 60% of the Stretton Skyline Race Route|
I started at Sanford Avenue in Church Stretton and cruised up to the bottom of the steep ascent to Caer Caradoc, near Cwms. I ran all of this (gently) and then hiked the steep section. Keeping left near the top (above the steep bit) gives a nice steady runnable gradient. I took it fairly steady on the descent (the ground was frozen hard) and came out at Comley Farm.
As I started up towards the Lawley, Mark Deighton from Newport & District appeared behind me. We had a good chat going up the Lawley, and then he headed off along the ridge northwards for a longer version of my run, and I turned back at the summit to head down and across to Dudgely. The fields on the way were just frozen enough I kept my feet dry, at the cost of a little bit of roughish going.
On this run it has previously all gone a bit wrong for me on the next (final ascent), but this time the recent training paid off, and I managed to run fairly easily up through Gogbatch and on up the road then track to the Gill Harris Finger Post. Today, I chose to continue up towards the road rather than turning left on the path that skirts Haddon Hill. This gives slightly better conditions underfoot. I turned down Mott's Road and cruised gently down, avoiding the patches of ice. A steady run down Cardingmill Valley took me through to the cricket field where the Skyline race finishes.
I reached this point in 2:15 - about five minutes faster than the last time I came this way, and much more comfortably. When I raced in September this section took me about 2:35 (admittedly there was seven miles of running before it). I think I'm making real progress now, and I'm sure I could go sub 4 hours for the whole Skyline, maybe sub 3:50.
I jogged back up to the car, giving (according to the gpx file): 11.2 miles and 3,420' of ascent. The profile below (using the DEM and not the GPS elevations) shows the ascent measure is probably a bit OTT, and should be more like 2,700'.
|Profile: L to R are Caer Caradoc, The Lawley, and the slog up to High Park|