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Long Mynd Valley’s February 11th. 2023

Long Mynd Valley’s English Championship race February 11 2023
Report for FRA fellrunner magazine.

The first in the FRA English Championship race series. The LMVs is such a classic route - it is not just the one climb, and it has some great fast grassy descents. As such it attracted a lot of runners who would perhaps not normally travel south to Shropshire, leading to an amazingly talented field, and a slashing of records. This may have been helped by dry, firm conditions and mild weather, but hampered by a small course change at the top of Ashes Hollow to avoid an environmentally sensitive boggy area - that may have added a few seconds.
I must first apologise to Phillipa Williams of Dark Peak runners who I failed to realise at the presentation had beaten Vic Wilkinsons ladies course record of 2017 in a time of 1:40.50. Vic still had a good run in 3rd, 1.44.56 and Nichola Jackson, Keswick AC second in 1.42.16.
It was with great sadness that at the start, and at the presentation, we remembered Darren Kay, Vic’s partner, with a few words and the wearing of ribbons (in his club, Calder valley’s red and white colours). He went missing 8 weeks before the race while on holiday in Madeira.
The first 6 men beat the course record! First, William Cartwright, Matlock AC in 1.28.55, 4 minutes 33 faster than Tom Addison the last time this was a Championship race in 2017. The other being Chris Richards, Daniel Haworth, Ben Rothery, Brennan Townshend, and Tim Lamont.
After the race it felt like a summer fete with the exceptionally mild weather, and people sat around chatting on the slopes near the finish in Cardingmill valley.
At the presentation in the School we enjoyed the superb home made soup, cakes (some vegan) and “real coffee” provided by Joe Faulkner’s Nav4 catering. Joe said he got up at 2am specially to bake them for us! No injuries, but we did have 1 poorly runner, whose tummy pains and pallor improved quickly with rest.
I am grateful for the 50 volunteers who helped, and without which this race would not have happened.
From the earnings of this race, after expenses we (Mercia!)
have given £400 to Cardingmill valley National Trust, £1000 to Bowel cancer UK, £500 to the UN Ukraine relief fund, and £500 to the Turkey earthquake appeal

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