|The track leading down from Flounders Folly on the Hills and Dales Hike|
First a nice very gentle recovery run with Em on Wednesday night. It was pretty cold and raining on and off and I really couldn't be bothered, but Em got home from work and came out the bath with her running kit on so I felt obligated really. And I'm really glad I went out. We had a really steady run to Halford and then back across the fields and through the woods. I concentrated on good running form - short strides and up on my toes, trying to do it easy like Caballo Blanco used to say: "Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast". Caballo may be gone but as Em reminded me his inspiration lives on. We cruised round for a very gentle 4.7 miles and 550' in almost exactly an hour.
I meant to get out and run all day on Friday but didn't manage to leave the house until half past five. I grabbed Em's Shropshire Hills Visitor Centre leaflet on the Hills and Dales Trail which was supposed to be about 6 miles. I thought I'd cut up onto the route at Lower Dinchope and then run the end (into Craven Arms) first, then the remainder of the route, finishing from the bottom of Callow Hill via the bridleway back to the house. The run to CA was pleasant, only disturbed by a few brambles in Berrymill Wood.
|Ireland Cottage from the edge of Berrymill Wood|
|Lower Dinchope, with Caer Caradoc behind and to the left|
|Flounders Folly at the top of Callow Hill (locally known as The Tower)|
|View across Hopedale from Callow Hill. The Wrekin is just visible centre right.|
I came back down easy but fairly quickly via Moorwood Farm and through Strefford Wood. A lovely evening run: 8.2 miles and 1,250' in 01:24.
On Saturday morning (07/04/2012) I headed over to Ironbridge to meet Em, John and James for a bit of WOW (Wenlock Olympian Walk) Reccie. The section for today was the first and last few miles of the second 50 mile loop, so it's part of the hundred, but not the fifty.
In wetting drizzle, we ran from Ironbridge over into Coalbrookdale then up the Rope Walk to join the Tinsel Trail route to Little Wenlock. On over to the Wrekin and a slog to the top. This is going to be tough, long climb (it's continuously uphill from Coalbrookdale to the top of the Wrekin), especially 90+ miles in. We ran down through Garmston and Leighton then via fields to Cressage. There's a pretty long road section from here to Sheinton. At Sheinton, Em and I both had aches and pains and decided disgression was the better part of valour, so we cut the route short and left James and JT to head up towards Much Wenlock.
Em and I ran down to Buildwas (walking a lot of the road sections) and returned to the car via the footpaths on the north bank of the Severn and then up the Wharfage past the Tontine. The rain finally stopped about five minutes before we got back to the cars. 17.3 miles and 1,800' in 03:28.
Over the Easter weekend I didn't run but had a couple of nice short walks, around home on Easter Sunday and at the head of Lake Vyrnwy on Easter Monday (rain again). I went to the point to point meeting at Upton on Tuesday and left a bit late to get back for the whole Tuesday run. However Tom came to the rescue, texting me the rough route, so I knew I could intercept the group at Little Stretton.
As I pulled up the first runners came down through the campsite, so by the time I'd thrown a fleece and some jog pants in my running pack and put a shirt and a pair of shorts on, it was time to play catch up. Luckily for me the guys had given themselves a good working over coming across Ashlet, so I didn't have to go too silly to catch them. We went on up Ragleth Hill, then along and via the lane to Gaer Stone. I climbed pretty well and descended nice and easy, but fairly quickly down to Cwms Cottage. From there we cruised on down to Stretton via the Hike field. 5 miles and 1,100' of climbing in 00:58.