After the heat of the weekend it was a bit of a shock to shiver on arrival at the foot of the Wrekin. This is a fell race because it has climb, but the terrain has not a drop of mud (though Gary, in his speedy descent, did manage to spray dirt up his back) and the route is at first a steady climb through the trees on an uneven, rocky track, a couple of doglegs then onto the more open straight climb up to the summit, with a couple of short, almost level bits (which, on the descent appear as short climbs!). At the trig point, we turn around and come straight back down again the same way.
130 runners finished the course this year (last year it was 131), but fastest of all was Daniel Connolly, in 18.06. At that speed he’d have almost lapped the three Croft runners if he had gone round a second time! But we have age as an excuse (in fact Gary got talking to two elderly [but under 70!] ladies at the finish, who ended up taking our photos, so impressed were they at over two 70s running the race). Although I managed to beat Gary up to the trig point, I knew I hadn’t done enough, and that he’d ‘put up a good fight’ on the climb up, so it was little surprise when he went by about 500m from the finish and crossed the line some 20 seconds in front of me (his time was 1 second faster than last year). He was 1st MV70 in 27.32. Tom was also very consistent, after many injury-hampered performances over the last 12 months, finishing just two seconds slower than in 2017.