The day after Sue and Liz had battled the wind, rain and mud of Santry Park in Dublin, representing their respective countries, Tom and I did battle with the Wrekin in much pleasanter conditions, even if the previous day’s rain had made some sections a little muddier than usual. 176 runners set off on a narrow track, wide enough for 4 runners at best, so the tail end Charlies could have taken quite a while to get running at more than a shuffle. We wound up the north side of the Wrekin, mostly still in tight formation, then down the ridge to the really steep descent amid leaves and rocks. Tom decided it was best here to give in to the inevitable, and slid down from the top on his backside. Once on the track below I heard squeals from above, but I gather it was nothing to do with Tom’s mode of descent, but just the reaction of a group of women runners to the loss of balance, and dignity, as they slithered down. The gradually rising track on the south side was, as usual, very wet but not boggy, leading us to the foot of the steep climb up to the trig point. From there, this year, we veered off the stone track onto a winding, muddy path, which made a pleasant change to the concrete descent (and we were spared seeing the leaders making light of the final climb up to the summit) even if single file meant that slower runners caused some congestion. This took us down to the start of the said stony path back up to the summit, and then to the rocky descent to the undulating track on the north side, and approximately 1 mile more to go to the finish of this 12.9k race, negotiating the undulations which had now become small mountains.
The winner was Ross Cambpell, a newcomer to the event, completing the course in under an hour (58.45), a full 5 minutes ahead of the second placed runner. I finished just little further back(!), 104th, in 1.31.11, with Tom 141st in 1.39.14. In the summer fell series, Gary was 1st M65, with Tom 2nd. Somehow I was 1st M70, despite running only one race.