Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tuesday Club - 01/03/2011

A fairly gentle club run this week in the count down to the rigours of the Valleys Weekend. We headed up towards Caer Caradoc and then contoured around the west face on a really lovely undulating single track path, before launching up the ramp (actually I played it really cool and walked most of the ascent) which comes out a little above the Little Caradoc Col.

We turned almost back on ourselves and climbed to the top of Caradoc - despite walking there were only six of the 20 or so in front of me at the top. The descent was a new one on me: 200 yards south then straight off the edge clambering over rocks at first and then charging down a grassy alp and across a marshy area to reach Cwms Cottage. There's no longer a cottage here, just a stand of trees remains next to the main Stretton - Cardington track. This reminds me of the setting of Pole Cottage. except that's up on the ridge. Cwms is pretty much on the col between Caradoc and the Hope Bowdler Hills.

And it's towards these we headed next, before a quick conflab and the obvious decision to return to Stretton over these. Again I walked the ascent quickly, arriving towards the front end of the group. Indeed from the top of HBH (Hope Bowdler Hill) I led the group down to the Gaer Stone...

The descent from here is brilliant - first a headlong rush, then an emergency brake application to stop for the wicket gate half way down, and then a gentler section on close cropped grass which runs out nicely to the gate out onto the lane. We returned to Stretton via Hazler Road, which is a good deal more civilised than Sandford Avenue.

The route was 5.9 miles and 1,640' of ascent, in a leisurely 1hr 24min. My legs were heavy after the thumping on the Wrekin on Monday, but I felt strong and ran well. There was quite a lot of waiting around and a general easy mood: no-one wants to hurt themself or over train this week before the weekend's racing...

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