Monday, 9 May 2011

Caradoc Recce - 06/05/2011

Bluebells and May Blossom above Church Stretton

I left work fairly promptly on Friday night for a recce of the Caradoc Classic. I thought I'd recce the route as far as the end of the main descent off the fell and then run on over the Hope Bowdler Fells and back into Church Stretton.

It was a very pleasant early evening and I set off at a reasonable pace through the field and up to Three Fingers rock. Right of this, left of the next knoll, and then a trod to the right of the main path seem to be the fastest ways to reach the short but steep climb to the edge of the Iron Age fortifications. There's still some steady climbing after that too.

View back down the ridge climbed in the Classic. Best lines are top secret!

The run down after the first little drop is a bit bobbly: one of those humpy grassy areas with unpredicatable footfall. I took the main section of the descent steady - the heels are still pretty sore. I did see one line which cuts off a wiggle on the descent low down.

From Cwms Lane I headed back up past the site of Cwms Cottage to reach the gate, and located a geo-cache I'd downloaded details of. Once I'd signed the log, I headed off up to Battlestones, where I took a photo, and then over Hope Bowdler Hill, running all the way and feeling strong. At Gaer Stones I took the permissive path towards Hope Bowdler and then hooked back where this drops into the fields to come out at the layby by the top of Hazler Road.
Battlestones with the Wrekin on the skyline

I crossed over, dropped down HR a couple of hundred yards and took the path on the left which climbs initially and then traverses under Hazler Hill. The bluebells were amazing and I took a couple more pictures before completing the traverse and picking up the footpath down past Snatchfield Farm to return into town.

I was quite pleased with today's run: the recce phase had quite a few rests but I took the running as a series of hard efforts once I'd warmed up coming out of town. I took it easy over to Battlestones but then ran at race pace as far as the bluebell field on Hazler Hill. The run was about 7.0 miles and 1,800' of ascent.

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