Thursday, 15 September 2011

Arthur Skyline - 11/09/2011

Another DNF, but very intentional this time.

I wanted to run a reasonable chunk, maybe all, of the Stretton Skyline, having done the 26 mile Wistanstow Walk the day before, just to get the idea of the kind of effect all the miles on the hike will have.

I set off in the early start at 10:30 and trogged up to Pole Bank with Gareth in front, but not always quite on the same line. There's a better way out of Lightspout Hollow, Gareth! I was running with Prue up as far as the road, but she went ahead on the climb to Pole Bank so I went through there third of the early starters with Naomi, Dave, and Maria behind me.

Prue made it harder for herself on the descent, following Gareth over Round Hill instead of skirting round it, and then staying on the main path instead of using the trod on the short climb from Barrister's Plain. They were still ahead of me as I came down the slopes of Callow to the welcome site of Al photographing and Em and Archie handing out Jelly Babies (and very nice ones too).

Naomi nearly caught me while I chatted but I was soon off down the rest of the hill (hot right heel pad again) and through Little Stretton to the climb of Ragleth Hill. I caught Prue on the way up, and then Gareth on the way down, but the achilles and ankle sprain were a little uncomfortable so I decided to knock it on the head at Sandford Avenue rather than risk injuring myself.

I hadn't seen, but apparently Steve Cale had just been through before us, so I got caught about 300 to 400 yards further on than last year. Not too shoddy considering last year I was pushing myself and this year I mostly jogged.

I was reasonably happy to have got seven or eight extra miles in for the weekend and also that I was climbing really strongly, and on balance dropping out was the right decision - the priority right now has to be total focus on the Longmynd Hike.

I walked up and had a post run massage from Di in the Sports and Social Club, then went on to the finish and CMV where I took some pictures of the runners coming in. Steve won by a mile again, and Andy Davies finished impressively 2nd overall, 1st veteran, and beat Pete Vale. There were a lot of other happy runners, notably John Taylor of Newport who has now finished two races consecutively (2 more than me at present), Noel Hogan of Newport (who looked dead), Glyn from Maldwyn who had a great run and only just missed the three hour mark despite the wind on High Park, and not least Prue and Naomi, who both went comfortably under four hours.

Well done to all...

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