Thursday, 20 October 2011

Time Trial Recce - 19/10/2011

I popped down to Bridges off my way back from a meeting in Shrewsbury yesterday evening for a quick recce of a section of the time trial and a bit of a recovery run...

It was nippy, even at six when I started, so it's back to running in tights, two layers on top, hat and gloves! I headed up through the wood to the road junction where the Stretton road starts the climb up the Mynd, then down into Ratlinghope past the farm and campsite, before turning left to follow a lane across the valley and up the first little hill. The lane's obvious and steep but runnable. It comes down at a steady grade to a gate and the Pulverbatch to BC road, where I turned left then almost immediately right, heading for Gatten.

Through the farm and straight on up the lane (again steepish but very runnable), the top is quickly reached. A stile leads right, skirting the head of a small valley, to reach another farm lane... I came down here, but without a map worried I was off the right of way when I saw a tractor working in the next field. I headed back up hill briefly to check for another way off, looking for the PROW signs on gates. In the end I realised I was probably right to start with and headed down the track.

It was starting to get dark and the farmer was just leaving the field as I reached the road - I held the gate for him and apologised for aimlessly wandering around on his land - he seemed nice enough about it.

The next leg is up to Hollies Farm, where a large black dog surprised me and I think tried to nibble my arm, but no damage done. I kept on up, quickly to start with, to reach Shepherd's Rock. I reckon this way is easier if you climb well than the Bridges route...

I ran along the Stiperstones ridge, glad (in a masochistic way) of the practise running on rough rocky paths, and then down to the car park. It was getting quite dark as I headed down the road, and I eventually got the torch out on the last drop down towards Bridges.

7.6 miles, 1,250', and around 1:30 running time.

Obviously I couldn't go straight home so I had a excellent pint of 1642 and an equally good half portion of spinach and sun dried tomato pizza in the pub before heading off.

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