Wrekin Fell Race.
Duncan Birtwistle won the 37th Wrekin Fell Race on Sunday in fine style. He became only the 5th ever Telford Athletic Club athelte to win the 5 and a half mile race crossing the finish line at Ercall Wood Technology College in 39.28. he had a close battle with Kennilworth Runners man Connor Carson, who just had the advantage at the Wrekin Summit. Birtwistle from Madeley, took the lead on the steep scree slope on the Wrekin descent from the Halfway House to the Forest Glen and held that lead extending it on the Ercall descent to come home with a 19 second winning margin. Birtwistle also won the Lindsay Parkinson Trophy for the first Shropshire finisher. Tom Roo from Mercia Fell Runners took third place in 42.59, whilst Shrewsbury's Gabe Morris who recently represented Shropshire in the national inter counties was 4th in 43.22, with Simon Adney 5th in 43.57 and Neil O Hanlon in his first ever fell race took 6th place in 43.57.
Tom Foster took the first over 40 award whilst other age group prizes went to over 45 Bryan Arthur, over 50 Steve Cole, over 55 Adrian Pickles, over 60 Stephen Roberts and over 65 Guy Whitmarsh.
Emma Gould from Warwickshire, who represents Mercia Fell Runners retained her Wrekin title winning in 44.24, 2 minutes quicker than her winning time last year and the 10th fastest time ever behind womens record holder Carol Haigh who ran 40.47 when winning in 1986. Emma's time was the fastest winning time since 2005 when the race was also the national inter counties championships and Yorkshire's Mary Wilkinson ran the second fastest time ever in 41.04. Ali Keates was second in 48.00, whilst it was great to see Shropshire Shufflers Val Swingler back in action after injury to take her 3rd consecutive 3rd place in 51.53. Telford AC's Lucie Tait Harris did really well in her first ever fell race to take 4th place and first over 40 in 53.28. Sheridan McWilliam from Lincoln took 5th place in 53.39. Issy Bradley, from Telford AC and a local Wellington girl who last week ran for Shropshire in the English Schools ran amazingly well in her first fell race to finish 6th in 56.29.
Biddy Cole from Mercia took the over 45 ladies prize whilst other age group winners were Gill Evans from Shrewsbury, first over 50 with Lesley Pymm from Bornville the first over 60.
The Wrekin race is the final race in the Shropshire Winter Fell Running Series sponsored by High Sports Shrewsbury. The Summer Series starts with the Wrekin Streak 4.5 kilometre race up and down the Wrekin from the Forest Glen on Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30 pm enter on the night.