With the Peak District on its eastern border, Cheshire seems to be one of those counties that you drive through to get to somewhere else but when you delve a little, it’s packed with places to send the husband and the children to whilst you’re racing. All within easy reach of Congleton these include: The Bridestones, a Neolithic Long Barrow at Biddulph, the chocolate box timber framed house of Little Moreton Hall, Grade I Listed Victorian railway engineering with the massive Twemlow Viaduct (not a spelling mistake ed) and science fact at Jodrell Bank.
Organised by Congleton Harriers, the race starts at in the town at 9:30 before quickly heading northwards on quiet country lanes with partial road closures where safety dictates. The course is described as “undulating” but the race’s nickname gives it away as there’s a rather unpleasant climb at twelve miles; just when it’s needed the least. Not a pb course then but Nick Booker ran a fine pb in 85 minutes dead. Talking with Nick, he put his improvement down to consistent training including a solid eight week stint of track sessions on Thursday evenings. It’s great when a plan works.
First lady home and twelfth overall was Diane McVey (Wilmslow) in 1:22:42 whilst first overall was Simon Myatt (Trentham) in 1:14:48. There were 418 finishers. A fee of £18:00 gave entrants chip timing, which is almost a given these days (how times change ed.), technical t-shirt and goody bag.