Cannock Chase Trig Point race
Sunday saw the first race in LERCs 2009 fell league take place. Organised by Mercia Fell Runners the Cannock Chase Trig Point race takes in some of Staffordshire’s more scenic views with the vast majority of the race meandering through dense pine woodland.
With the winter league's Ambergate fell race occurring concurrently and the Notts/Derbyshire XC championships the day before only 3 runners made the hour long trip across the country. The trio of Phil Walters, Phil Abbott and the ever present Colin Bostock were treated to 15 miles and 1500ft of running for their efforts.
Most of the race was run on good paths and forest trails and although advertised as requiring navigational skills there was really only a couple places where a choice had to be made and getting wrong would only add a couple of minutes to overall times.
Phil Abbott was first back for the club finishing 41st in 2 hours 5 minutes and unscathed. Phil Walters, having paired up with a young lady for the last few miles to share encouragement and route decisions, crossed the line in 2 hours 23.
Colin, however didn't have a quite as uneventful race as the Phils - upon reaching a 'T' junction between checkpoints 2&3 Colin followed some runners who, unfortunately for Colin, had already visited checkpoint 3 and were heading to checkpoint 4.
Luckily Colin didn't run all the way to the 4th trig point without realising his mistake and only had to double back a mile or so. The mishap still added a couple of miles onto his total race distance - a significant increase on an already taxing race distance.
To make things worse for him, whilst running off of the highest trig point on the course Colin skidded on a patch of sheet ice sending both legs above his head in cartoon fashion and landed heavily on his back badly bruising his ribs and inhibiting his ability to breathe deeply.
Colin's sheer determination carried him over the last 7 miles despite his pace being severely diminished due to his breathing difficulties completing the CL grade race with an overall time of just over 3 hours.
As is the fell runners ritual, the race was reviewed in a local pub. Colin was last to the pub - finally ringing the Phils to say he was lost & that he'd pulled into the car park of the Wolseley Arms pub to use his phone.
Much delight was taken in telling him to stop arseing around and to come inside and drink his beer!
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