Race report by Dave Phillips.
This was my 11th Shifnal and it must rate as one of the most pleasant events there is. Shifnal is a small Shropshire town between Telford and Whitchurch and ages ago horses were raced over the countryside from church to church thus the name Steeplechase.
12 years ago, Gareth Morgan of Isdall School (the race HQ), decided to put on a 13.1 mile race (no not Man v Horse) and most of it was off road but taking in the 5 church steeples where the horse races went. Then gradually it became more road to make it more attractive but there is still plenty of rough and tumble off road stuff in woods, fields, tracks, trails and round (not through) a sewage farm near the end.
But the formula today was VH+H+F = VT. So Very Hot + Hilly +Flies=Very Tough.
And thus it was but such was the scenery on small almost traffic free country lanes, plus the off road sections, plus the 5 church steeples en route, plus the complete isolation of most of the course makes this a “must do every year”.
Gareth did not put the event on last year but due to great demand from local clubs he was forced to change his mind this year and hopefully it will continue. Thanks Gareth.
The worst thing were the flies. I reckon the flies must have come from a Remain area and they heard that there was a runner from the Brexit camp in Red and White. Let’s get the bastard I reckon they said and true to their word they bombarded and attacked me for mile after mile. Yes it’s been a strange week for voting and when one chap was asked if he was Remain or Brexit he replied that he was Coming Out. Hmm.
So mile after mile with just tranquility, scenery, tough hills, cross country sections, no shops, hardly any people, cars or houses but plenty of flies, made it a great event. Mind you at 8 miles a tractor pulled out of a field and nearly collided with me. Yes of course it was a Massey Ferguson tractor-what else? Remember they used to make those in Coventry before the EU!
Finally the last church came into view with about 1 mile to go through Shifnal and back to the Leisure Centre/School and the finish. I was all in but drinks, oranges and bananas plus medal and showers made it all worthwhile.
No one else from Massey has done this so keep a note for 2017. I’ll let you know for sure.
Dave Phillips 2.38.
This was good training for the 4 marathons in the next 4 weeks and next week is the Isoman event at Redditch on Sat 2/7/16. Check it out as it’s a multi Triathlon/ Iron Man type of day with swimming, cycling and running-all distances plus multiples of different events. The marathon starts at 1530 hours for all entrants from the other events and the course closes about 2330 hrs on Sat night. Should be in before then!