|Note strange detour towards the wrong valley!|
None of the regular lead guys (Andy D, Tim Roo, etc.) showed up, so Terry Davies took us up Madeira Walk and over the golf course onto Haddon Hill. Suprisingly, I went well on the hills managing to run virtually all of this ascent fairly comfortably.
We picked up Mott's Road and all was well until Boiling Well where a splinter group suddenly shot off towards Pole Bank. The rest of us were aiming for Townbrook, and I had Paul's stuff in my car, so I wanted to get down in time for his train back to Shrewsbury at half eight.
I led off over Long Synalds towards the head of Townbrook, but somehow managed to turn right about half a mile too soon and Paul and I were soon pretty far down with no sign of the Townbrook Path. The other shouted us but were a long way back up the hill. To compound our mistake, one of Paul's fell shoes chose this moment to give out.
I realised that we were now not far above Ashes Hollow: descending this would have brought us out in Little Stretton with a couple of miles of road to do to get back to the car, and with Paul's dodgy fell shoe I thought it was better to head up and over to the Burway Road where we could jog back down to Church Stretton.
Hopefully that's a lesson learned. Look out for the second fingerpost before turning right onto the col at the top of Townbrook - otherwise you aren't actually on the col.
Anyway, all's well that ends well, we all got back ok and I found and recovered a "Caution Runners" sign that had been accidentally left by Burway Road after the LMV race. A nice pint and excellent steak and ale pie in the Ragleth soon had me sorted.
7.7 miles (I started my GPS half way to Madeira Walk), 1,580' of climbing, 01:41 including stops for navigation and toilets and some walking on the rougher ground after the shoe fell apart. Profile below - second climb is the result of the detour.