Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tuesday Night Run - 19/04/2011

Sunset over the Long Mynd, from the top of Caer Caradoc

Another eagerly awaited Tuesday evening, and what a wonderful night it was too. Super weather, sunny but with a nice gentle cool breeze on the tops.

We had 25+ runners tonight, all in the one big group. Mark and Tom decided we would go up past Snatchfield Farm and cut across the woods under Hazler Hill to the top of Sandford Avenue, then up to Gaerstone and along the main Bowdler Hills ridge to Battlestones.

Descending from Battlestones to Cwms

The pace was fairly swift and I found myself skipping along near the front on the way up, chatting with Mark, Andy, Helen and Ruth. From the Battlestones we headed down by the Cardington Cracker route to the Cwms - Willstone track, and then directly up the very steep east face of Caer Caradoc. On top we were treated to a glorious sunset, but the evening's delights weren't over yet...

Giz, and friend (I don't know this chap's name) on Caer Caradoc

Big gaggle on top of Caer Caradoc - there were a few of us not on this pic too!

We ran the grassy ridge to Three Fingers Rock very quickly, and then made an aggressive descent down to the footbridge - this is very steep and quite technical but its better taken fast than muckied about with. From here an excellent permissive path skirts the bottom of the woods under the west side of Helmeth Hill (you can go on the footpath round the east side, but it's not as nice...) Towards the end of this traverse there's a fantastic area of less dense wood which is full of bluebells. They're just coming into full bloom. The path comes out just above Gaerstones Farm, and we finished off down Hazler Road.

The route was probably about 7.5 miles, GPS says 2,000' of ascent, and 1 hour 36 minutes including stops (mostly short, one longer one on Caer Caradoc). I felt pretty strong but had a sore left thigh at the end which has stayed with me for the 24 hours since - but it's eased by some hamstring stretches. There's a 5 mile trail race over at Milford Common tomorrow evening which I might do as a pace session if the leg is better by then (see Stone Master Marathoners website).

It was nice to see so many friends out tonight, particularly Rob's return after illness, and also to have a good chat with Ruth about community hydro schemes amongst other things.

No comments:

Post a Comment