Cracker 2006

Cardington Cracker


by Paul Sanderson

Results attached at bottom of this page.

Tim Davies Tim Davies of Mercia and Michael James of Shrewsbury produced a real cracker of a race for the 19th Cardington Cracker Fell Race, organised by Telford Athletic Club. The tough 9 mile race from Cardington near Church Stretton attracted a record equalling 253 finishers as Welshpool based GB International Tim Davies, who was 8th in this Summer's European Championships, also set a new course record.Tim Davies Michael James Sunny but very windy conditions greeted the large field, but Davies and James went straight to the front and quickly established a healthy lead. They were together as they reached the top of the first climb the Lawley, where gale force winds almost blew runners off their feet. These two had had a great battle in the Breidden Hills Race in October and this was to be an even closer affair. Mike James, from Ditherington, who gained his first English international vest in the World Championships held in Turkey in September, took a slight lead on Caer Caradoc, thew second climb in the race. Davies' never say die attitude saw him claw back the lead as the runners approached the third climb onto the Hope Bowdler ridge. As the two came onto the Wilderness an area before the descent into Cardington, Davies established a lead. Once he felt he was getting away, he piled on the pressure to cross the finish line in a new record time of 1 hour 9 minutes and 43 seconds, the first man to ever break 70 minutes and to break the old record set by Dave Neill in 1998 of 1.10.11, by a clear 28 seconds. It is the 5th time that the Welshman has won the race, previous wins were in 1995,2001,2003 and 2005.James although having to settle for second, ran the second fastest ever time, in his race debut,of 1.10.01 and should feel delighted at the part he played in such a great race. The times were amazing in the windiest conditions that runners have experienced in the 19 year history of the event.Tom Owens, a recent addition to the Mercia club, was 3rd having a superb run the day after racing in the Birmingham Cross Country League, he crossed the finishing line in 1.13.23. His team maate Pete Vale was 4th to consolidate another excellent performance for the events Mr Consistency as he has finished in the top 7 for the last 5 years, but his time of 1.14.32 was 30 seconds faster than his previous best. Richard Roberts from Eryri, 6th in the North Wales Cross Country League the week before was 5th in 1.18.17. Church Stretton based, Ian Hughes running for Shrewsbury AC was 7th in 1.20.42.The 2005 World Masters Fell Running Champion, won the womens race in 1.26.22, finishing 31st in the race overall, just under a minute outside Amanda Wright's course record set last year. Bristol and West's Helen Fines was second in 1.29.20 with Shrewsbury's Welsh International Anna Bartlett 3rd in 1.30.23, her fastest ever time on the course by 26 seconds.Tattenhall's Sarah Hammond was 4th,1.38.21.Mercia's, Shrewsbury based teacher Rachel Bollom,ran well for 5th 1.40, with Ludlow Runners' Penny Priest was 6th home in 1.40.25, with Shropshire Shufflers Val Swingler 7th in 1.42.18 and Shrewsbury AC's international triathlete Grace Chillingworth was 8th in 1.43.01.Other Local finishers wereMen10th Andy Yapp, Mercia 2nd Veteran 40 1.21.3918th Mark Bollom,Mercia 1.23.2125th Kevin Francis, Shrewsbury AC 1.25.0226th Colin Lancaster, Telford AC, 2nd Veteran 45, 1.25.4027th Andy Davies, Mercia 1.25.5228th Graham Jones, Shrewsbury AC,2nd Veteran 50, 1.25.57

33rd Simon Bowen, Shrewsbury AC 1.27.12

35th Juan Castillo,Shrewsbury AC 1.27.28

36th Matthew Clewes, Mercia, 1.27.36

37th Simon Daws, Telford AC, 1.27.56

Paul Sanderson