Stretton Skyline 14th September 2008.
At a time when we’ve had more rain than an Amazon downpour in the height of the tropical monsoons, the
race Organisers prayers were answered & the clouds parted in time for a wonderfully dry & sunny weekend
for the 28th running of the race & the typical Skyline weather was bestowed upon us.
The race got off to a tremendous start with an exceptional 96 starters, lead by a man meaning
business & going for a course record. Early morning cloud & mist lingered on the tops with Pole
Bank feeling on the cool side, never the less our man on a mission had a good 5 minutes lead at
this point & disappeared into the mist now with his sights firmly set on Little Stretton back
down in the valley.
First Lady runner Kate Bailey of Meirionnydd RC was also consolidating her position whilst
looking decidedly cheery in the process.
Competitors then tackled the switchbacks of Ragleth, Caer Caradoc & Lawley hills before
crossing the valley & heading off once again for the Long Myndd Plateau. The grind up onto
the Myndd usually takes it’s toll on tired legs leaving the long fast Motts Road decent back
into Cardingmill & eventually Church Stretton to finish on the town Cricket & Football Pitches.
As the race progressed & as to be expected both of the leads grew with Mike having a 23 minute
margin as he crossed the finish line over Andrew Primrose of Mercia Fell Runners & Kate had a
13min lead over Camilla Stewart who was unattached.
Mike’s finishing time was 2:18:22 just 1 minute off the record set way back in 1986. The water
logged fields from Comley farm just after Lawley hill seemed to slow his progress & could well
have been the reason that he just missed out. Probably just as well he was slowed as I’d only
just put the last flag in the ground when he came through!
In a year which broke from the norm seeing relatively more senior finishers in the top 20 than
veterans. First male veteran back was Nick Thomas of Telford Harriers & First Lady veteran was
Lisa Garside of Telford AC.
Many thanks to all who helped with the Goody Bags, Marshalling & Water Stations along the way,
the Church Stretton Social Club for providing the Registration & Post race venue, this is all
very much appreciated by both the organisers & runners alike.
Also I musn’t forget to congratulate Paul Sanderson who not only ran around before the event
setting out the course & delivering water station equipment, ran the race & then cleared away
afterwards – I hope he had a well earned pint in the social club afterwards!
91 Finishers (95 Goody Bags made, phew!)
Race report – Andy Smith & these rather dodgy photos