Race report by Dave Phillips.
This inaugural event started at the Aldersley Stadium in Wolverhampton and it’s a “self-navigated” trail run. So what does that mean? Well no mile markers, drink stations, marshals, direction arrows in fact no nothing.
It is an event for solo runners or for teams of 3 so the camaraderie was wonderful from start to finish.
But the lack of everything mattered not as the 1st 7 miles were down the towpath of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal so how could you get lost? The only instruction was “exit at bridge numbered 44 and onto the old disused railway track”.
Trouble was with all the rain recently the canal path was just “black Wolves mud” and huge puddles for 7 miles. Really dodgy and impossible to run on. One slip and you were in the drink! Quite simply the most difficult terrain I’ve ever run on.
Eventually after 1.1/2 hours and 7 miles bridge 44 came into view so we left the towpath and ventured onto the old disused railway track now called the Staffordshire Railway Walk. However this was just like the tow path with non-stop black mud and water for the whole length to the finish at the stadium. A real killer where shuffling was difficult-sliding easy! Running a non-event.
The railway route is called the Monarch’s Way because it’s the route used by King Charles ll in 1651 after being defeated in the battle of Worcester. Anyone know that?
So at the finish we all got a huge medal + goodies so it was well worth the trouble.
Well done to the organisers The Mash Running Team .
A few facts:
This was the flattest event I’ve ever done.
It was my 345th ½ marathon.
It was my slowest ever!
It was the wettest and muddiest of them all.
It was an inaugural run.
Compulsory kit for everyone was a mobile ‘phone, bottle of drink (not cider), survival blanket and a copy of the route info map.
It was c14 miles long.
So as it’s a team event let’s do it next year.
Dave Phillips; 3 hrs 12 mins. (value for money and time on feet is what counts).