Saturday, 17 September 2011

Bury Ditches Recce - 13/09/2011

Moonrise over Bury Ditches Hill Fort
This was a rare trip away from Church Stretton for the Tuesday Night Group. Dave and Chris had offered to take us for a recce run round the Bury Ditches Hill Race. This will be run from Lydbury North on Sunday 25th. A lot of the lower section of the route is on private land...

17 of us met in the car park of the Powis Arms, and eventually set off just after seven. The route starts with a fast level section of drive and crosses Walcot Pool before climbing steadily through a couple of fields to Lower Down. 300m of road leads to a track across another couple of fields and into the woods. There's another kilometer of steady but easily runnable climbing to a bench where the route turns left for a final, gentler climb to the hillfort.

Gra, Emma, Darran and Em
Phil, Gra, Helen and Em
Testing the bench

The light was fading as we emerged onto the grassy ramparts, and a nearly full moon had just risen in front of us - another of those magical hill running moments.

The descent is fast and furious on a good path, crossing the car park and road after 600m before heading down another 1.2km to Lodge Farm, where the route doubles back onto another track for a serious sting in the tail, as the track climbs 60m in just 400m horizontally.

From here it's easier though, across two fields to come out at Lower Down again, then hard and fast down the outward route to finish by the pub.

We all had a good run tonight, mostly treating it as a series of fairly hard efforts, so the pace at the front was a bit silly at times, and very silly when John and Jamie started sprinting up hills! Thanks to Dave for organising and also to whoever laid on the chip butties in the pub afterwards...

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