The Piece of Cake Trail Half and Full Marathon enticed runners into the Shropshire Hills including the gruelling Long Mynd. There was added temptation in the form of a cake competition, playing an important role in the event.
10am on Saturday (16 July) in Church Stretton saw the start of this tough race known for its scenic views, testing hills and highly distinctive medal.
The route started and finished at Carding Mill Valley with runners choosing between one lap for the half marathon and two laps for the full 26.2 miles. They were faced with a steep climb from the beginning irrespective of which distance they had chosen and this along with the other challenging inclines took its toll.
Piece of Cake was hosted by How Hard Can It Be Events who arrange a number of races each year from half marathon up to ultra marathon distance. In addition, they are involved in building obstacle courses to meet the growing demand for these challenges across the UK. The team has a reputation for well-organised, small, friendly events that appeal to runners looking for an alternative to large-scale affairs. Their iconic medals or ‘bling’ are a selling point and Saturday's offering did not disappoint!
Piotr Klupczynski won the half marathon in 1:57:02 followed by Marcin Pilarczyk in 1:57:30. Rod McGowan took third place in 1:58:27. Claire Murphy was the fastest lady in 2:11:05 followed by Linda Howell in 2:14:31. Jemma Chapman came third in 2:23:02.
Gemma Mallet won the marathon in a time of 4:12:55 followed by Stephen Minnikin in 4:26:25. Dan Newton took third place in 4:40:35.