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Wrekin Fell 2007

Wrekin Fell Race
Wellington, Shropshire
01-Apr-2007

Mike James became the first ever Shrewsbury Athletic Club runner to win the Telford Athletic Club organised, 30th Wrekin Fell Race, as he scored the second biggest winning margins ever, winning by almost 4 minutes. Recent winner of the Ironbridge Half Marathon, James set off in determined mood and as the field reached the top of the Ercall he had already established a healthy lead. James was particularly impressive on his climb up the steep scree slope at the beginning of the Wrekin ascent, as he continued to run up this section, with all others reduced to a hands on knees walk.

He had at least a two minute lead at the Wrekin summit and further extended that on the return, with many spectators amazed at the extent of his lead. He did not ease up despite his healthy lead and pushed it all the way to the finish of the 5.5 mile course at Ercall Wood School, to cross the line in 35.38, the 10th fastest time ever and almost two minutes quicker than his previous best on the course when he finished 7th in 2005. Although he was the 10th fastest, he was just 2 seconds behind Will Levettt's Inter Counties win in 2005 in a much stronger field and just 8 seconds behind the 5th fastest ever set back in 1988. Only two athletes have evr got under 35 minutes on the course in the races 30 year history, course record holder John Wilde,34.27 and Mark Kinch,34.55.

In that 2005 race, Mike James ran made one of his first appearances on the Shropshire running scene and surprised everyone with his high placing in a high quality inter county field. Since then the Shrewsbury AC man has gone from strength to strength, winning the North Wales Cross Country League title last season, the Shropshire Summer and Winter Fell Running Series and gaining an England International Vest at fell running. He is set to run some of the English Championship races this summer including the Fairfield Horseshoe race in the Lake District in May, a selection race for the Snowdon International in JUly.

Tom Addison an Under 18 from Helm Hill, a Cumbrian club was second in 39.20, with former England international and now an England team manager Mark Croasdale from Lancaster and Morcombe 3rd in 39.42. Shrewsbury's Ian Hughes was 4th in 41.00 and Mercia's Mike Boulstridge was 5th in 41.40. Mark Bollom from Shrewsbury, representing Mercia, ran well for 6th in 41.57 with Ed Davies from Forden near Welshpool having an incredible run as the first over 50 for 7th in 42.29. Shrewsbury AC's Kevin Francis was 8th in 43.01. paul Jones in 12th was Oswestry's first finisher in 44.42 whilst Simon Daws led the Telford AC contingent in 13th, 44.46 as Tony Nicholls, the well known Wellington butcher was the first Wrekin Road Runner home in 15th,45.08.

Amanda Wright, now living in Telford was the first lady to finish, winning the race for the first time in 46.37. A GB International on the road, Amanda who represents Birchfield Harriers, has had several impressive fell performances to her credit including a good run in the recent Cardingmill Canter. Despite having recent injury problems her time is still the 32nd fastest of all time and become sthe first Birchfield athlete to win the race. Scunthorpe's Emma Clayton, was second in 47.45 and Mercia's Rachel Bollom was 3rd in 48.42 and Mercia's Mel Price was 4th in 49.21.

The Wrekin Race incorporated English Championship races for the UNder 23 and Under 18 age groups. The Ercall Hill Races for under 16's, Under 14's and Under 12's were also English Championships scoring races.

Under 16 boys winner was Joe Gratton of Hallamshire in 12.50
Under 16 girls winner was April Stevenson of Horwich in 14.41.
Under 14 boys winner was Joe Johnston of Rossendale in 14.06
Under 14 girls winner was Laura Riches of Leigh in 14.50
Under 12 boys winner was Kristian Edwaeds of Tamworth in 12.56
Under 12 girls winner was Hannah Bethwaite of Ellenborough in 14.06.
Under 10 boys winner was Sam Johnson of Telford AC in 4.50
Under 10 girls winner was Emma Clarke of Ludlow Runners in 5.17.

Local finishers in the young athletes races were

Ryan Heath, Telford AC 8th Under 14 boys in 15.06
Chloe Murphy, Telford AC 5th Under 14 girls in 16.57
Ed Dawes, Telford AC 24th Under 16 boys in 18.32
Emily Wright, Telford AC, 5th Under 12 girls in 17.58
Sarah Tatton, Telford AC, 6th under 12 girls in 18.02
Luke Tatton, Telford AC, 6th Under 12 boys in 15.02
Dominic Gardner, Telford AC, 7th Under 12 boys in 15.07.

Paul Sanderson
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