I allowed plenty of time to get to the start of the Bury Ditches race, even having time on the way to have a quick chat with Mike who I passed when he was out on his bike. Unfortunately I must have been having a senior moment and managed to forget a few things – my off road trainers, my water and most importantly my phone. I always have my phone when I run to record the route and time so I was a bit annoyed about this but by the time I realised there was no time to turn back. More importantly on this Sunday morning, I had put the information in about where the start of the race was and could not remember where to go. So a little bit of stress ensued – there are very few pay phones in rural south Shropshire and when I finally found one it only took credit cards. I had to knock on a couple of doors to ask for directions which took me to the wrong side of the hill to the car park at Bury ditches but finally found the Powis Arms in Lydbury North with only 10 minutes to go before the start.
So, no chance for a warm up but a quick hello to Tom and Gary, the other Crofties who had made it to the start with the 33 other entrants.
This is a 10k race with the start being a steady uphill along a bit of tarmac, a bit of field, some farm tracks and some woods up to the summit of the hill fort that is Bury Ditches. It was a lovely sunny morning and there were quite a few people out for a walk on the hill and every one greeted me with smiles and ‘well dones’. You can be fooled into thinking that after the summit it is downhill all the way back to the start but there is quite a tough uphill stretch with about two miles to go to the finish.
It is a great route and a race that I enjoyed. Everyone is really friendly and there was a very nice cake to take home for all the runners. I think I did suffer from a lack of warm up but did manage to get past a few people on the uphills. Unfortunately I was overtaken by Caroline Scott of Sinfin RC in the final half mile downhill stretch who then took home the FV40 prize. Must try harder next time! My time was 52.50 which was one second faster than last year!
The race winner was Jamie Shingler of Ludlow Runners in 38.22 and the winning lady Emma Gould of Mercia fell runners in a course record of 40.13.
I was 5th lady, Tom was 23rd in 55.23 and Gary 28th in 56.36, legs still recovering from the Black Mountains 17mile fell race 24 hours earlier.