Ironbridge 4 Mile Race.
This Wednesday sees the 34th Ironbridge Race, organised by Telford Athletic Club. One of the oldest races in the Shropshire calendar, the race started in 1978 when it was held on a Saturday in conjunction with the Ironbridge Fair at Dale End Park. In 1991, the race had to move from its traditional Wharfage start on police instructions and is now part of the Telford Sexarathon Midweek Series, sponsored by The Up and Running Shop in Shrewsbury starting and finishing in the Ironbridge Car Park, by the famous Ironbridge. This weeks race is the 4th in this years Sexarathon Series which sees Chris Davies and Claire Martin the current series leaders. Chris, who has recently moved house to Cheadle in Staffordshire, plans to run and aim for his 6th Ironbridge victory. He has just returned from winning the Caen 10k race in France in 30.54, with brother in law Mark Dalkins 3rd in 32.22, whilst Amanda Davies completed a family double winning the ladies race in 39.58. Chris, was second last year to Cannock's Tom Humphries, his 3rd victory in the race, who won in the fastest time on the new course in 20.24. Davies, himself had a consecutive hat trick of victories in 2006, 07 and 08. Interestingly in 2007, Mo Hill, the owner of sponsors Up and Running was 5th himself in 2007.
Claire Martin, the current British Masters Cross Country Champion and focus of a full page feature in Athletics Weekly last week, has won the womens race at Ironbridge for the last 5 years and 6 occasions in total, her fastest time is 23.53 set in 2006. The fastest time on the new course is 23.36 set by Amanda Allen ( now Smith ) of Birchfield, who lives in Much Wenlock.
The course starts and finishes in the large Ironbridge Car Park, follows the old railway line to The Boat Inn at Jackfield, where it crosses the river on the footbridge. It then follows the road to The Woodbridge crosses back across the river and returns to Ironbridge along the old railway line.
The race starts at 7.30 pm on Wednesday with registration at the Tontine Hotel, runners of all abilities welcome to enter on the night from 6.30