6 Dec

Running For The Hills At Cardington

The Long Climb At The Cardington Cracker Hill Race

It was a bright frosty morning for Sunday's (4 December) Cardington Cracker Hill Race and 2,600ft of climbing to look forward to… 

The Cracker is one of several events organised by Telford AC and viewed as an annual tradition within the local fell running community. Now in its 29th year, it is not recommended for novices due to the severity of the hills and the technical aspects of the course. However, experienced runners were treated to some of the best views across Shropshire. 
 
The 9-mile route started from Cardington near Church Stretton in Shropshire with four checkpoints situated on The Lawley, Caer Caradoc, Helmeth Hill and Willstone Hill. There were plenty of fast, grassy descents in between that provided a brief respite and a chance to stretch the legs. 
 
The brutal climbs did not deter Jez Brown of Buckley Runners who was first to finish in 1:19:08. Dominic Jones of Mercia Fell Runners was only seven seconds behind, taking second place in 1:19:15 with teammate Simon Adney third in 1:22:16. 
 
Mercia Fell Runners were also in the ascendancy in the women’s race with Mel Price coming first in 1:28:16 followed by teammate Anna Bartlett in 1:29:11. Zoe Barber of Shrewsbury AC took third place in 1:29:53. 
 
A field of 252 runners turned out for this Grade A fell race that is part of the High Sports Shropshire Winter Series. Prizes were awarded to the leading men and women plus age categories with the opportunity for all to enjoy a restorative pint or two in the Royal Oak. 
 
Photo courtesy of Michael Green.