Mike Scotney reports: After a couple of weekends of long slow 18 mile marathon training runs on the canals, I felt it was time to try something a little different.
Having run this race on four previous occasions, it was ideal as a shorter, but challenging run with an opportunity to dust off the Innovate trail boots for a rare excursion in the outdoors. The preparation wasn’t ideal (a late night birthday curry celebration in Broad Street the night before) but what a great way to blow out the cobwebs! I met up with fellow BVH runners at the start and on a warm but blustering morning we set off as usual from Mary Stephen’s Park in Pedmore.
I set off with Dan and Ewen and once the football pitches and golf course had been left behind we hit the scenic trails of the North Worcestershire Path and the alluvial sandy lanes. There was the usual ‘power walk’ up one of the hills, but the rest of the course is a mixture of steady hill running up the banked lanes of Churchill and Blakedown with some good tempo running in between.
I think both Dan and I took this more as a training run, which knocked off the usual competitive edge, but writing this a few hours later, it didn’t detract from it being a very useful workout, as I found to my pains when trying to kick a football with the kids in the garden in the afternoon! It is a great run, the marshaling is excellent (very supportive and enthusiastic) and it’s one of those races that just seems to be in the spirit of running; working you hard but having that friendly atmosphere.
10 and a bit miles later, we descended back into Mary Stephen’s Park, and whilst a couple of young guys decided they would mimic Linford Christie in the final strides, I was thinking more of not pulling any muscles and finished in the same time as Dan. A very casual Mark Lynock then sauntered home, followed by Ewen, proudly sporting his pink race towel (I think they had run out of the mens race memento!). Lesley Pymm was also racing in her well heeled Walshies, and I think that made up the BVH attendance.
Lesley Pymm also reports: The weather was unseasonably warm for the Stagger this year. I felt quite over-dressed with a T-shirt on as well as teal vest. The course was not too bad underfoot. Sometimes the sandy bit is very soft, but that was solid this year and the muddy uphill was not too bad.
There were more queues for stiles than I remember – but I do have a very selective memory for these things. There were also some lovely bits that I had forgotten about around Churchill (lakes and forge). I saw some people that I walk with during the week out walking and having their coffee break on a hill we were climbing up just before ‘Joan’s Delight’.
As it was uphill and heading for a stile I was not even able to make it look good running towards them! The memento was a towel for the second year running, which is really useful. There were a few of us from BvH who ran it. I was pleased with my time which was about 10 minutes faster than last year – and I got stopped to let traffic go through! A good morning.
|74||1:20:03||Mike||SCOTNEY||Bournville Harriers||Senior Men|
|75||1:20:03||Daniel||WILSON||Bournville Harriers||Male Vet 45|
|136||1:27:54||Ewan||ROSS||Bournville Harriers||Senior Men|
|382||1:58:35||Lesley||PYMM||Bournville Harriers||Lady Vet 50|