|Long Mynd Valleys - route map from Mercia FR Website|
I set off a minute or two before the main gaggle (Mel was late so Helen waited for her and they caught us up on top), and headed up the ridge and over into Jonathan's Hollow, keeping warm in the rain. The trod down into JH is much wider than it was a few months ago - must be all the recce runs! I waited at CP1 because I wanted to see the best route up to the Portway. Paul and Adrian led on up (stay left of the stream at first, and then head a bit left to the lip of Long Batch after a few hundred yards).
I struggled a bit on the Port Way going over to Boiling Well - must be all the fast running from the Canter and last Wednesday night... Coming down Ashes Hollow I followed Mel at the back of the group but then had a bit of a spill on slippery grass, landing on (and bashing) the outside of my left knee and my hip. I was up and running straight away and got up and over Barrister's Plain fine. Then the shoe horror started.
As soon as I went over in Ashes I knew I should have been wearing fell shoes, not my trail shoes. But my Mudclaws just aren't comfortable - I even had foot pain on the 5 mile Canter last weekend. I went down (gently) twice more on the way down from BP, and again on the way round into Callow Hollow. I was trailing along behind John at this point. He kindly waited at the start of the climb out of the Hollow, and we did the ascent easily enough, but as soon as the ground flattened I was struggling again. So rather than go down Minton Batch and leave myself with three big ascents (and more problematically three steep descents in the wrong shoes), I decided to cut and headed up towards the Portway.
I forced myself to keep running (very slowly and steadily) along the road, and up to Pole Bank. I met another local runner here and exchanged a few words before I turned right to go down to Boiling Well. By now I was running a bit more freely, and made a decent fist of the gentle climb over Long Synalds. I dropped down across the col at the top of Townbrook Hollow, then climbed comfortably up the side of Yearlet. I descended by the green path - this was slow going low down with all the wet ground - and jogged back round to the cafe.
I've got a sore hip and knee now, but an ice pack and the rugby helped. Here's my route map and profile...
|Route run - race route to just short of the south western point|
|Profile - I left the LMV route after about 6.5 miles|
I'll have to get out and do the last six miles in the week (maybe Thursday) so that I've done it all before I have another go at the whole thing with Owen Mills on Weds 23rd.