The Beacon Race.
Exceptionally good weather seemed fitting for a yomp over the Malvern Hills. The Worcestershire Beacon Race started at 3pm on Saturday the 10th and there on the start line was Andrei, comfortable in the knowledge that he had 150, bright spangling Long Eaton Fell League points in the bag, as would be fitting for a 300 mile round trip for a 7 mile race.
Then as casually as you like, returning from a light warm up session in the woods, Andrei spots me, and it became clear that the stark reality and magnitude of the situation had hit Andrei like a bolt from the heavens. Yes ................. He was indeed going to get 150 points !!
The race course left Rose Bank Gardens, Great Malvern, in a southerly direction, crossing Foley Terrace. We then took a narrow zigzag track which winds its way speeply uphill through the woods to St Anne’s’ Well, on to Happy Valley and across a further hilly, wooded area at the bottom of North Hill. We then ran back to St Anne’s Well along a wide, flat hill track for approximately ¾ mile until ascending on a fairly good path up to Earnslaw Quarry then up through the woods to the Goldmine where we met the tarmac Beacon track.
The Beacon track is a hard ¾ mile climb to the summit of the 1395 foot high Worcestershire Beacon, where we then descended over grass to a wide track and down to West Malvern. The course then climbs again along a good track around the end of North Hill where we met a short length of rough track down to a better track which continues around North Hill entering into a steep descent to St Annes Well.
At the Well we turn south along a fast mixed track taking us back to the start / finish at Rose Bank Gardens.
The race is 7 miles in total with a climb of 1340 ft, and we enjoyed magnificent views over Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wales and Shropshire, with the Black Mountains clearly showing their faces.
Excellent race for anyone new or not so new to Fell Running. I just hope Andrei got back to Yorkshire in time for his 7.30 soirée in Bradford.
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