Another glorious sunny Sunday, or at least it was at 9am. By the time we got to Little Stretton, the sun had gone in and the air was decidedly cool, so the idea of carrying/wearing a windproof top didn’t seem too much of a hardship. Five Croft runners (and none of the ladies who had conquered the Sugarloaf two weeks earlier!) arrived for the Mynd Dragon (or was that ‘Mind the Dragon’? Maybe St George didn’t get to these parts in his dragon slaying days. I should have worn my glasses.) – a 7.5k fell race, with 600m of ascent, although as Colin set us off he wasn’t too sure of the exact figures – it almost certainly wasn’t less!
Over the stream, once, and then again, before we started on the long haul up to the top of the Callow. I quickly realised that wearing an anorak was going to be too warm and whisked it off as I climbed. From the summit there was a pleasant, short downhill, then a steady climb up a wide track before the first steep descent over bracken and long grass down to the stream, up the other side weaving between bracken and outcrops until we could begin to run again over the top, back down to the stream and clamber up almost to the top of the Callow (from the steepest side!), clockwise round the contour crossing the path at the bottom of the ‘pleasant, short downhill’ and up the last hill, that I’d forgotten about! Even on the gentler sections ‘runners’ ahead of me were walking, until we reached the top leaving us with a kilometre or so of downhill to the finish, 50 yards beyond a final stream crossing (but this time over a bridge that a very nice man had thought to construct to keep our feet dry).
The race was won by Robbie Cooper, an under 19, in the ridiculous time of 48.58! I bet he even ran up the hills. Gary P crossed the line in 57.05, 2nd MV45, Paul C-D was 1st MV50 in 62.38, I was 1st MV70 in 66.12, Gary G was 2nd MV70 (69.37) and Tom 1st MV65 (73.58). Well done to Paul, winning his age category for the first time.