13th Shifnal Steeplechase multi terrain half marathon – 25.6.17
Race report by Dave Phillips
Well I’ve run every one of these in Shifnal a small beautiful Shropshire town not too far from Telford. Around 150+ of us turned out for it today.
Originally most of it was off road following the course that man and horse galloped along taking in 5 churches and their steeples-thus the name. Recently it has become mainly road but with a few Multi Terrain miles in woods, tracks, fields, brooks, rough paths etc.
I was determined not to miss it so I started an hour early so that I could get back for the Claverdon Village Fete plus because of my breathing problems race walking/jogging was the only option.
I thought I knew every inch the course but at 2 miles there was a yellow arrow pointing 90 degrees to the right down a track to a farm about ¾ of a mile away. This has changed a bit from other years I thought but I plodded on down it but not 100% convinced that it was correct-unless they had changed the course. Then at the end was a locked gate and I realised that the arrow was wrong and should have pointed down the road not at 90 degrees to the left. So I plodded back to the road, continued for 800 yards and there was the correct yellow arrow pointing 90 degrees to the left and a water station and then I recognised the track. I told the marshal who drove back to correct the error.
Then the course was as I thought it should be, undulating, full of flies, no traffic and off road in places.
By steeple 2 at the six mile mark the leaders passed me and this is how it continued as I plodded on breathlessly feeling pretty bad. The course is a real cracker if nature, lakes, woods and rough terrain is what you like and this continued until mile 12 back at steeple 5 in Shifnal then back through the town to the HQ at the Idsall School and Sports Centre.
Nice medal, fruit and drinks welcomed us all and after (in my case) nearly 15 miles I was glad it was over. I was out for 3hrs 14 mins in all but who cares? Good fun and hard work.
Massey ½ marathon time:
Dave Phillips (my guestimate for the half 2hrs 55 mins).