The Wrekin is a 298 m high hill (407 m OD) near Telford in Shropshire. Richard tells me that it is the steepest hill in Britain, but the internet does not seem to be able to confirm this. Regardless, this steep hill provides the perfect setting for a fell race … mud, steep paths, rain and slippy leaves … and what a perfect race it was.
The race started from the bottom of the hill and then went up to the top of the hill, then down to the bottom of the hill and then up to the top of the hill and then down the hill and then, you’ve guess it, up to the top of the hill and then down the hill (once is never enough!), then along the bottom of the hill with many smaller undulations before reaching the finish. The race was meant to be 8.1 miles, however one of the runners clocked 7.38 miles, which I think was more likely. Perhaps the organisers can confirm? The distance is pretty immaterial however when the real obstacle to progress is the ridiculous gradients, both up and down. I am perfectly happy with the ups, in fact I often passed fellow competitors on those legs, however the downs were a real headache and I’d usually lose all the places I’d gained going up. One particular down section was extremely steep, was covered with leaves, which were on top of mud, which was on top of smoothish rock. A great combination!
During this race we ran up the Wrekin, down the Wrekin, around the Wrekin and alongside the Wrekin, which must be classed as a really long way round according to the local phrase:
“All around the Wrekin” or “Running round the Wrekin” is a phrase common in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Wolverhampton,Walsall, Stafford, Birmingham and around to mean “the long way round”
On completion of the race we were handed beer and water (fantastic), then we strolled back to the events centre, where we were treated to tea and chips and sandwiches, which were absolutely delicious. Prize giving followed soon after and Richard recieved a prize for 2nd man >40! He chose some rather fetching Ron Hill tights which will indeed make him look as if he is over 50, nevermind 40.
The race was really really well organised, the marshalls were encouraging, the sandwiches were fab and the beer was a nice touch. All for 5 pounds! Seriously good value! When is the next one?
Thank you to Newport and District Running Club who did a fantastic job.